Power plant prepares for heavy lifting


Once assembled, the heat-recovery steam generators will look similar to this. The massive parts will be moved through Holland streets this week. Courtesy Holland BPW

After travelling halfway across the world, four oversized modules for a new energy park are making a slow crawl through downtown Holland early this week.

The Holland Board of Public Works will transport two heat-recovery steam generators comprised of four modules from Verplank Dock on Lake Macatawa to the roughly 26-acre site at Fifth Street and Fairbanks Avenue in downtown Holland for the new Holland Energy Park.

Contracted from Vogt Power International for approximately $12.2 million, the four modules weigh approximately 400,000 pounds each.

Manufactured in South Korea, the modules were transported across the Pacific Ocean, travelled through the Panama Canal and into the Caribbean Sea before being offloaded in New Orleans onto two river barges last month.

The modules were scheduled to arrive in Lake Macatawa via Lake Michigan in the early morning of Aug. 7 on a large lake barge travelling from a terminal in Chicago.

At 70 feet long, 20 feet tall and roughly 17 feet wide, each module will be transported individually from the dock through downtown Holland from Aug. 9-12 using a type of moving platform system known as a goldhofer.

Dan Nally, business services director at HPBW, said the modules will be transported from the Verplank Dock onto 8th Street, down Van Raalte Avenue to 13th Street, and then across town to Fairbanks Avenue and the site of the new energy park.

“These are very large pieces of equipment,” said Nally. “They will do the first move Sunday afternoon and leave the modules on the goldhofer at the site, so first thing Monday morning, Barton Malow (Co.) can lift that module with two cranes and place it onto the foundation that was poured in June.”

The moving platform will then travel back to the dock using the same route to pick up the second module for transportation Monday afternoon. Due to the large size of the equipment and use of the full width of the streets, the Holland Police Department will close the streets along the transit route on a rolling basis between approximately 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. to ensure safe travel.

Dave Koster, general manager at HBPW, said the heat-recovery steam generators are a critical part of the benefits and value the Holland Energy Park will deliver to the community.

“We apologize for any inconvenience the transit may cause and we are committed to being as efficient as possible with the time needed to get the HRSGs safely to their new home,” said Koster.

The Holland Energy Park project will use the two heat-recovery steam generators to recapture energy from the exhaust heat of natural gas turbines as part of the combined-cycle natural-gas power plant process.

HBPW also contracted with Siemens to purchase two 67-megawatt natural gas combustion turbines valued at $37.7 million and a roughly $8.2 million steam turbine from Siemens, the HBPW announced in July 2014.

The roughly $200 million project officially launched Jan. 1 when the EPC contract with Barton Malow Co. was signed by all parties and approved by the Holland City Council. Barton Malow, a construction firm, serves as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project; HDR serves as the owner’s engineer. In this role, Nebraska-based HDR oversaw site evaluation, power plant thermal cycle optimization, development of the project schedule and an overall project estimate, and on-site monitoring during construction.

The construction of the new facility broke ground in April, and the combustion turbine generators were scheduled to be delivered as of July 20. The anticipated transport of the modules is slightly ahead of schedule according to the project timeline of Aug. 17. After the steam turbine generators are delivered by the end of the month, it is anticipated the building’s structural steel will be completed by Jan. 25, 2016.

With first fire and steam testing slated for late fall of 2016, the plant has a target completion date of Dec. 17, 2016, and a guaranteed substantial completion by Feb. 15, 2017.

Once completed, the CCNG power plant will occupy more than 133,000 square feet and between six and eight acres of the 26-acre site. It is estimated to have a power output of roughly 145 megawatts in the winter and is funded by HBPW cash reserves and nearly $158.84 million in AA-rated municipal bonds.

Nally said he is very pleased with the support from the community.

“If you go back to about 2010 when we started the community energy plan and our P21 Power for the 21st Century process, we spent a significant amount of time working with the community to understand what the community wanted relative to power supply and how they wanted us to approach it,” said Nally. “We make sure we engage the community in what we are doing, give their voice an opportunity to be heard, and as a result, we have had very positive support.

After conducting an exhaustive sustainable return on investment study in 2011 to gauge the affordability, reliability, health effects and environmental impact of a variety of options, HBPW recommended pursuing a state-of-the-art combined-cycle natural gas power plant to address energy needs in the community.

While the use of the natural gas to generate electricity is efficient and produces an average of 50 percent less carbon dioxide, lower levels of nitrogen oxide and fewer particular emissions than coal, Nally said there are several additional benefits to the new park, such as supporting the demand for more snowmelt.

“The neat thing about the project is, it isn’t just a power plant. This plant is providing additional heat source for more snowmelt. Right now the De Young plant supports about half a million square feet of snowmelt in downtown Holland,” said Nally. “The new plant will be able to support 2.5 million square feet of snowmelt — roughly five times what we currently have. That is a huge benefit for Holland.”

Several streets in downtown Holland, including 8th Street and Central Avenue, have been under construction to install new pipes connecting to the existing snowmelt system and also allow for future expansion, according to Nally.

The remaining 18 to 20 acres on the site will be designed as a community park with walking trails and educational kiosks, and will provide a possible connection point for Outdoor Discovery Center’s Macatawa Greenway Trail from east of Zeeland to Lake Michigan.

As a project supported by the people living within the community rather than a large Fortune 500 company with shareholders across the country, Nally said the willingness and understanding of what it means to be self-sufficient in production of power is one of the attractive aspects of Holland.

“The people who are paying for this project live within a seven-mile, eight-mile radius of Holland,” said Nally. “They have vision; they get it about being independent by being able to stand on their own and not having to rely on the market. They had that vision 130 years ago, and it holds true today. It is a great part of our community history.”

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