Holland, Michigan – Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) is a recipient of the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Community Service award. The national award is given to public power utilities that have demonstrated commitment of the utility and its employees by enhancing the quality of life in the community through activities that address a community need or improve the community’s social, cultural, educational or economic environment, while providing an opportunity for employee involvement.

The award will be presented to HBPW on June 18 during the APPA National Conference held in Nashville, Tenn.

“Whether it’s Adopt-A-Highway, the National Night Out program, recycling events or sponsoring the Hope College Student Housing Energy-Saving Competition, HBPW is committed to being involved in the Holland community,” said Dave Koster, HBPW general manager. “These are just a sampling of the more than 30 programs and activities HBPW submitted in the application. Not only do these programs allow HBPW to give back, but it gives our employees a chance to be involved in a variety of community service projects as well.”

The APPA Community Service award was established in 1990 to recognize “good neighbor” activities that demonstrate the commitment of the utility and its employees to the community.

APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state- owned electric utilities. It is located in Washington, D.C.

The Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) is a community-owned enterprise providing electric generation and distribution, water, wastewater treatment and broadband utility services to nearly 28,000 business and residential customers in the Holland area. HBPW is committed to enhancing the economic and environmental vitality of the community, providing reliable services at the lowest rates achievable through innovation and efficiency.

Holland, MI— The Holland BPW has voted to recommend a 20 year renewable energy wind contract with the Michigan Public Power Agency (MPPA) which will purchase the energy from Beebe Wind LLC, located in Ithaca, MI. This contract is the second wind energy power purchase agreement for the HBPW and will increase Holland’s share of wind-generated power from 15 MW to nearly 32 MW. This addition will bring Holland’s renewable energy portfolio to about 16 percent of the city’s total electric sources. The contract will be presented to Holland City Council for approval on March 20.

“Diversifying our portfolio with sustainable and efficient power generation reflects the HBPW’s desire to provide consistent, reliable power to our customers in a responsible way,” stated Dave Koster, HBPW General Manager. “We are committed to deepening our renewable energy offerings for our customers and our community.”

The power purchase agreement with the MPPA for 16.8 MW of wind generation will start out at less than 4.5 cents per kwh and escalate at 2.5% per year over the course of 20 years. The HBPW anticipates Holland will start receiving energy through this contract by August 2014.

In addition to Holland, four other Michigan cities are planning to participate in this power purchase agreement. Holland will be the largest power purchasing city, using 16.8 MW of power from seven turbines. MPPA’s total contract with Beebe is for eleven turbines with an output of 26.4 MW.

“Holland and the other cities are all members of the Michigan Public Power Agency. Entering into a contract as a group, we increase our purchasing power and receive better pricing, and we can pass those savings on to our customers,” stated Koster.

The contract includes expansion of Beebe’s existing Ithaca, MI site which means a positive outlook for a timely completion next year. Competitive pricing and the site’s Michigan location make Beebe Wind an attractive option for the HBPW. The contract also satisfies the state’s requirements for renewable energy under PA 295.

The Holland Board of Public Works is a community-owned enterprise providing utility services to nearly 28,000 business and residential customers in the Holland area. We are committed to improving the economic and environmental quality of the community in partnership with our customers, providing reliable services at the lowest rates achievable through innovation, efficiency, and professional operations. We provide electric generation and distribution, water, wastewater treatment and broadband services to the City of Holland and selected areas.

Holland, MI—The board of directors at the Holland Board of Public Works has voted to approve a set of three-year electric rate increases and one-year water and wastewater rate increases that will help fund a number of critically needed infrastructure improvements as part of the utility’s continuous improvement plan.

If approved by Holland City Council this May, the increases will begin on July 1st. “We need to make the capital investments in infrastructure to prepare our community for the next 50 years,” said Tim Hemingway, president of the HBPW board of directors.

“We will be investing significantly in the electric, water and wastewater utilities proactively to ensure that our long term operation costs remain low and our rates competitive.”

HBPW’s infrastructure improvement strategy includes such projects as water main replacement, sewer main replacement, and lift station improvements. The electric rate increases will help fund construction of a new power generating facility, which is in alignment with the recommendations of the Sustainable Return on Investment study the BPW conducted last year.

“There are real, tangible benefits our community will enjoy from these infrastructure investments,” said David Koster, HBPW general manager. “Those will include things like cleaner, more efficient energy, improved wastewater handling and reductions in repair costs from failed pipes and equipment,” Koster said.

The reality is that those capital investments will require funding that will come from increases in the rates for utility services. HBPW utilities operate financially independent of each other, and each will have its own rate pricing structure. However, the combined rates planned for July 1 will average an increase of 23 cents/day or about $6.90/month for residential customers.

“It is very important to remember that even with the planned increases, Holland BPW customers will continue to enjoy across-the-board utility rates that are among the lowest in our area,” Hemingway said.

The Holland Board of Public Works is a community-owned enterprise providing utility services to nearly 28,000 business and residential customers in the Holland area. We are committed to improving the economic and environmental quality of the community in partnership with our customers, providing reliable services at the lowest rates achievable through innovation, efficiency, and professional operations. We provide electric generation and distribution, water, wastewater treatment and broadband services to the City of Holland and selected areas.

Project is estimated to save $2,800 in annual energy costs

HOLLAND, MI, January 03, 2013 – The Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) is partnering with the City of Holland to install dimmable Light Emitting Diode (LED) pedestrian lights in Centennial Park, the city's oldest park located adjacent to City Hall.

In total, 48 60-watt dimmable LEDs are being installed along pathways in the 5.6-acre downtown park, replacing aging and energy-wasting metal halide lights. The project is intended to demonstrate the energy optimization of LEDs as a viable emerging technology.

"HBPW is continually looking at approaches that can help our customers save energy and money as they transition to greener technologies," says Anne Saliers, conservation programs manager. "Although the upfront costs of LEDs are still comparatively high, there are solid reasons to consider them as the technology continues to develop."

The new LEDs in Centennial Park are projected to use 70% less energy and last at least 4-5 times longer than the existing metal halides. In addition, because LEDs contain no mercury or other toxic materials, disposal at the end of their lifespan is safe and easy, requiring no special procedures.

The project is expected to save the city $2,800 annually in electricity costs, reports Mark VanderPloeg, Holland's municipal planner. Because LEDs are nearly maintenance-free, repair and replacement costs will also be dramatically improved. The existing halides needed replacement every 1-2 years, and the globes have become discolored and are in generally poor condition.

The Lumecon "Ring of Fire" LEDs selected for the park are designed with an incorporated globe and provide an appearance in keeping with the Victorian aesthetic of the 136-year-old park. The new LEDs are being installed on existing lampposts.

A special feature is their ability to be programmed to automatically dim to one of eight settings using radio frequency technology. Another advantage is a "dark sky" feature that directs illumination downward, reducing nighttime light pollution while improving visibility and safety on the ground, and each light has a photocell that detects daylight so it automatically turns on and off as needed.

Lumecon headquarters are in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and more than 50% of manufacturing and assembly of its LED products occur within Michigan.

Joint funding for the $35,000 project comes from the HBPW Energy Optimization fund, collected from customers in accordance with Michigan Public Act 295, and the City's Capital Improvement Fund. HBPW and the City will monitor the energy use and overall performance of the LEDs.

This is Holland's third LED retrofit project. Traffic signals were converted to LEDs in 2008, and pedestrian lights in the downtown shopping area were converted in 2009. Unlike the new lights in Centennial Park, the downtown LEDs do not have a dim feature.

About Holland BPW: Established in 1893, the Holland Board of Public Works is a community-owned enterprise providing utility services to the Holland area. We are committed to improving the economic and environmental quality of the community in partnership with our customers, providing reliable services at the lowest rates achievable through innovation, efficiency, and professional operations. We provide electric generation and distribution, water and wastewater treatment and broadband services to the City of Holland and selected areas.

For more information on the power, water, broadband and wastewater treatment services provided by the Holland Board of Public Works, please visit our web site at www.hollandbpw.com

Media Contact:
Anne Saliers
Holland Board of Public Works
616.355.1658