Holland BPW decides on new power plant location


The planned $1.6 million generating plant will be at Holland's eastern gateway on a 9.7-acre parcel. Courtesy Holland BPW

The Holland Board of Public Works and the Holland City Council decided unanimously last week to purchase an industrial parcel at Fairbanks Avenue and Fifth Street for $1.6 million, for a planned 114-megawatt generating plant fueled by natural gas.

Located at the east end of Holland, the parcel is 9.7 acres zoned for commercial/industrial. The site is currently occupied by 17 commercial tenants.

“We’re very pleased to have reached an agreement on the site,” said David Koster, Holland BPW general manager. “It is ideally located for maintenance and possible expansion of our (pavement) snowmelt system, and provides the needed proximity to downtown for potential district heating. In addition, we believe that the project will positively enhance the eastern gateway to the city.”

The BPW issued a news release stating that relocation of the current businesses will begin late this summer or early fall, and demolition of existing structures will take place late this year.

In addition to the 9.7-acre parcel, the HBPW also will buy other residential and commercial properties in the immediate vicinity needed to complete the project. That includes about 21 residential properties, but those residents won’t be affected until 2014. The BPW said it has already hired a local firm to begin discussions with them and negotiate the purchases.

The BPW looked at nine potential sites in the Holland community for the new generating plant.

Plans call for the installation of a greenbelt, adding an aesthetically pleasing entryway at the east end of the city.

“This is an exciting project for our community,” said Koster. “We’re taking a giant step toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future and using the new facility to make enhancements to the community across the board.”

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