When the City of Holland in Michigan had to replace their old coal-fired power plant, they turned to a model of sustainable return on their investments to find a solution. Now, the new natural gas-fired plant brings substantial benefits for the environment, the residents, businesses, and tourists. The Holland Energy Park provides excess heat to the USA’s largest snowmelt system.
By Roman Elsener
“Holland is a beautiful city, settled 150 years ago by people from the Netherlands who wanted to live their lives as they chose, and be a prosperous community,” says Nancy de Boer, the Mayor of the community of about 35,000 residents near Lake Michigan. The settlers from Holland, says De Boer, instilled a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, a caring for each other, in their descendants. Economically, Holland and Ottawa County are doing well, having the lowest unemployment rate in Michigan. “Our biggest problem is talent, attracting more people to fill all of the jobs that we have. That’s a wonderful problem to have,” Nancy de Boer says.