Holland BPW unveils new clean energy electric generating "park" with greenway trails, education

The Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) has unveiled its architectural design for its proposed natural gas-fired electric generating facility for the city of Holland, a 26-acre site at 5th St. and Fairbanks Avenue. The new plant will replace the outdated coal-burning waterfront James DeYoung plant.

Highlights of the design include:
•    a 50-ft.-high glass wall on the south side that enables visitors to watch the equipment and processes at work
•    a red ceramic fiberboard "spine" that creates an observation gallery
•    walkways, roads, and parking areas heated by a snowmelt system powered by the plant
•    walking paths that could eventually connect to the nearby Macatawa Greenway
•    a green roof, permeable pavement, bio-swales and rain gardens to capture stormwater runoff
•    fencing, gates, and picnic tables made from the 20,000 cubic feet of concrete recycled from the demolition of existing structures on the site

"We want this to be an educational resource," says Dave Koster, HBPW general manager. "We will have lots of tours, and we'll have about 26 acres for buffer space around the facility, close to greenway systems and destination points. The public can use it and be on the grounds to enjoy the natural trails around the property."

Koster says planning began about 10 years back when ideas were put forth to increase capacity of the DeYoung plant by adding another coal-fired facility. After several studies, a steering committee of 20 local stakeholders gathered public input and decided to build the 114 megawatt gas-fired energy park and to establish it in a location away from the Lake Macatawa shoreline as an eastern gateway to the city.

The HBPW has purchased some 50 of the 60 properties needed, offering fair market value plus extra percentages to homeowners on those parcels, and has purchased commercial parcels and helped relocate those businesses. Demolition of existing buildings begins after the Tulip Time Festival, and after local nonprofits Homecor and Jubilee Ministries have opportunities to harvest usable furnaces, water heaters, and other equipment from the structures.

Koster expects the plant will be fully operational in 2016.

To learn more, visit p21decision.com.

Architectual design: HDR, Inc.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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