The Holland Board of Public Works owns three electric generation facilities: the James De Young Power Plant (pictured above); 48th Street Generation Station; and 6th Street Generation Station.
In addition, the Holland Board of Public Works owns shares in the J.H. Campbell Complex and the Belle River Plant, both are coal fired electrical generating plants. The plants are operated by Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison, respectively.
The Holland Board of Public Works can also purchase power on the open market. Holland Board of Public Works staff monitor the cost of power and make purchasing decisions every hour of every day of the year. The cost of buying electricity from other facilities fluctuates significantly. There are times when the cost of purchasing power is much higher then the cost of generation as well as times when it more cost effective to buy power from other producers.
James De Young Power Plant
The James De Young power generating plant is located at 64 Pine Avenue on the shores of Lake Macatawa. Construction of the municipally-owned facility began in 1939, and initially housed two coal-fired boilers, Units 1 and 2. These units were capable of generating 7.5 MW each.
As the City of Holland grew and power demands increased, Unit 3 was added in 1953 (11.5 MW), Unit 4 in 1961 (22 MW) and Unit 5 in 1968 (29 MW). Units 1 and 2 were retired completely in the late 1970’s, but Units 3, 4 and 5 continue to generate power for the Holland community.
Units 3, 4 and 5 are “base-load” units, which means they run 24 hours/7 days a week at a fairly constant capacity load to meet the community’s basic or “base” power needs. When demand for power increases above this base, additional power is purchased from other generating facilities via the “electrical grid,” or by operating the off-site gas or diesel oil-fired turbines owned by the City of Holland.
Two of the three units were either installed or converted to burn both coal and natural gas by 2001. Coal has traditionally been less expensive and a reliable fuel supply. The coal that the HBPW purchases is mined in Kentucky and/or Colorado, then sent by rail to the nearest shipping port, where it is blended to our specifications. Large bulk freighters bring the coal to the James De Young facility via the Great Lakes, where it is off-loaded on the dock. Conveyors transport the coal into storage bunkers on the top floor of the main building, which feed pulverizers (the coal needs to be ground as fine as baby powder to be able to get a quick, complete burn). The pulverized coal is then “sprayed” into the boilers and ignited continuously. Steam generated from this combustion (approximately 900F and 900 psi) drives the turbines and subsequently the generators which supply electricity to customers.
By-products of this operation include excess heat (non-contact cooling water for the condensers of Unit 3 provide heated water for the snow-melt system in downtown Holland), gas emissions from the combustion process, and particulate (also known as “ash”).
48th Street Generation Station
The 48th Street Generation Station consists of three simple cycle combustion turbines. Two of the combustion turbines were installed in 1992 and have the ability to burn fuel oil or natural gas. These two turbines are capable of generating 34 megawatts.
The third combustion turbine was installed in 2000. This combustion turbine can generate 73 megawatts and can burn only natural gas.
6th Street Generation Station
The 6th Street Generating Station is an oil fired combustion turbine that is capable of generating 22 megawatts of electricity. This unit was constructed in 1973.