HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Before it’s even started operations, the Holland Energy Park is already earning some big accolades.
The new Holland Energy Park is the first power plant in the world to receive the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision Platinum award recognizing the sustainability of public infrastructure, and those behind the project say they have the community is to thank for that.
It’s a sign of changing times.
“I’m very excited about being at this point,” said David Koster, general manager at Holland Board of Public Works.
The decades-old James De Young Power Plant is no longer burning coal and construction continues at its energy replacement — the $240 million Holland Energy Park.
“There has been a long history of power generation in Holland. We have done this since the late 1800s and this is the next phase in that process,” Koster said.
The numbers surrounding the BPW’s new natural gas plant are impressive.
A 133-thousand square foot facility, a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions and double the fuel efficiency for Holland’s power generation.
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure honored the plant with their Envision Platinum award — the highest one they have.
“It is a very big deal. This is a globally recognized award,” Koster said.
The BPW credits the people in Holland for part of it — community members and stakeholders have had a big say in the development.
When the facility is up and running, it will be giving back to the very people that helped shape it.
“It’s Holland Energy Park for a reason. We have got an area outside where people can use the trails that will be around this facility and connect to different natural systems and come in to learn about energy. So it’s an educational resource also,” Koster said.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but if all goes according to plan the building could be in operation as early as the end of 2016.