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Holland's under-construction power plant earns infrastructure sustainability award COURTESY PHOTO

Holland's under-construction power plant earns infrastructure sustainability award

BY Wednesday, July 20, 2016 11:25am

HOLLAND — As construction on Holland's new power plant nears completion, the $240 million project announced it had earned the Envision Platinum award from the Washington D.C.-based Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

Representatives for the city's public utility — the Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) — compared the recognition to receiving LEED Platinum status but for an infrastructure project, referring to the environmental designation reserved for private buildings.

The so-called "Energy Park" is the first power plant to receive the ISI designation.

In a statement, the ISI made note of the HBPW's work cleaning up the previously contaminated site along Chicago Drive east of Holland's downtown, especially the amount of asbestos removed and the more than 14,000 tons of waste material recycled during the demolition process.

“During the design of this project, the HBPW and stakeholders utilized sustainability technologies that would impact the health and safety of the community," Bill Bertera, ISI president and CEO, said in a statement. "Their successful outcome could not have happened without public involvement and support that grew from the process and this is an important part of their Envision Platinum project.”

The ISI looks at a variety of criteria when rating infrastructure projects, including quality of life and resource allocation.

Slated to be fully operational by February 2017, there's currently more than 400 workers on the power plant site via 10 to 15 different contractors.

Upon completion, the power plant will offer public tours as well as outdoor trails around the plant that will connect to the nearby Macatawa Greenway trail system.

The new natural gas-burning power plant will replace the coal-burning James De Young plant, although HBPW general manager Dave Koster told MiBiz that the plant could remain operational for the foreseeable future as it still has capacity.

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