LOCAL. RELIABLE. EFFICIENT. ESSENTIAL.
Typically the annual Key Accounts meeting would bring us together this time of the year. As with most events in the wake of the pandemic, our plans had to be adjusted. We listened to your feedback and decided that easy access to valuable information specific to your needs as a key account would be more valuable than a virtual meeting or web based training. The result is this webpage, a knowledge resource designed specifically for you.
Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW) knows that understanding your utilities is pertinent to your business. Being informed helps you to take advantage of all the benefits that go along with having a community-owned board of public works.
Please take time to explore this page at your own pace. Queue into the latest news about HBPW electricity, water, wastewater and broadband. Also, learn about opportunities to lower costs and operate more efficiently.
As a local public utility, you are served at all levels by people who are devoted to our community. That means you have a real person to call. As a key account, Alison El-Cassabgui is dedicated to providing resources to you when needed. If you have any questions about this information or your service, feel free to reach out to her.
Understand Power Quality
Understand Power Factor
Energy Waste Reduction (EWR)
HBPW recently completed an evaluation on how to proceed with implementing the Energy Waste Reduction program after the State mandate for municipals sunsets on December 31, 2021. Recommendations include continuing the EWR Program offerings beyond 2021 and increasing the kWh savings goal from 1% to 2% over a course of two years. The new program offerings will also give HBPW the opportunity to track carbon reduction, specifically how it ties into the Community Energy Plan.
HBPW will continue to work with our Key Accounts to further reduce energy waste throughout the future. We strive to continue to provide beneficial opportunities for our customers to both save energy, save money, and continue to be a good steward towards our environment and community.
Energy Smart Rebates
The rebate program will continue for the foreseeable future. Some new additions throughout the past couple of years to the HBPW Commercial and Industrial rebate program include:
- International Dark Sky Association (IDA) certified exterior lighting qualifies for an increase of 10% to the rebate dollar amount.
- Electric Vehicle Charging Station rebates for both Residential and Commercial & Industrial customers.
- Fiber Laser Cutters, replacing CO2 laser cutters, have been added to the prescriptive portion of the rebate application.
- A second round of Strategic Energy Management (SEM) is set to kick off again this fall. If you're interested in hearing more about it, please don't hesitate to reach out and we can provide further details.
Is there anything you would like to see with the rebate program? Please, share your thoughts!
Elective Renewable Energy Rate
As more and more customers are becoming environmentally aware and active, many residents and companies are including a higher percentage of renewables for their energy purchases. To meet customer and corporate needs, HBPW offers an Elective Renewable Energy Rate and a Distributed Generation Program. Contact us to learn more about these ways to achieve your sustainability goals.
HBPW will continue to invest in Renewable Energy participating in 100 % Public Power funded Solar Arrays that will provide up to 13 MW for our customers. These are the two largest solar arrays in the state of Michigan and will increase our portfolio mix to over 15 % Renewable Energy by 2021.
Cross Connection Regulation
Holland BPW is required by Michigan Law to protect the drinking water system that serves our community from ALL cross connections with potential sources of contamination, and prevent future connections that may contaminate the drinking water system.
Cross Connection Programs exist around the United States to ensure that water provided by utilities remain safe throughout the distribution system. HBPW is no different and takes any potential backflow hazard created by a cross connection seriously.
Some of the most common cross connections that exist in Commercial and Industrial settings include:
• Irrigation Systems
• Fire Suppression Systems
• Piping connected to a Boiler or Heat Exchanger
• Piping connected to Manufacturing process involving water
Some of the most common devices and methods used for backflow prevention include the following:
• Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assemblies (RPZ)
These devices consist of two independently acting, spring loaded check valves with a relief valve placed in between to prevent backflow. The relief valve must open to discharge any potential backflow due to high pressure, specifically if the pressure in the second zone is higher than the first zone.
• Vacuum Breakers
Vacuum Breakers are one of the simplest types of backflow prevention and are typically used for individual toilets, urinals, lab sinks and irrigation systems. Vacuum breakers are great at protecting from backflow, but do not protect against backpressure.
• Air Gap Separation
Typically found in common household installations such as sinks, bathtubs, washers, water softeners and certain industrial applications. Air gaps are typically not practical in most commercial and industrial settings since high water pressure is required with no splashing.
The full list of approved backflow prevention devices can be found through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) or by contacting our Water/Wastewater Services Supervisor, Alison Morsink.
All customers with a cross connection in their facility must complete a yearly inspection by a Certified Backflow Device Tester and be submitted to HBPW.
Costs of processing and disposal of wastewater solids have continued to rise throughout the last few years. In order to mitigate these rising costs to our Commercial and Industrial customers, as well as ourselves, HBPW has elected to construct an Anaerobic Digester at the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). So, how will it work and how will it help the Holland community as a whole?
Anaerobic digestion breaks down solid organic material from the sewage received and treated by the WRF in the absence of air. The anaerobic microorganisms convert a portion of the organic solids to biogas, a methane-rich product. During the anaerobic digestion process, nitrogen compounds found in wastewater solids are converted into ammonia. Because of this, HBPW is also implementing a post aerobic digestion process that will then convert that ammonia into atmospheric nitrogen gas, thus eliminating any risk of toxicity.
The Holland community benefits from the sustainability that the digester helps promote. This benefit includes the methane-rich biogas that is produced by the digestion process that will be used for power generation at the facility. Additionally, the digestion process will destroy pathogens in the wastewater and will stabilize the solids to Class A standards, allowing the end product to be used as fertilizer or soil amendments. The overall volume of wastewater solids currently being disposed of by the WRF will be cut in half by the anaerobic digester, greatly reducing trucking and landfill disposal needs.
The US EPA has a great site (https://www.epa.gov/anaerobic-digestion) dedicated to providing information on anaerobic digestion, ranging in topics from the basics, to environmental benefits from anaerobic digestion. The site also provides tools and resources along with publications complete with research on the beneficial effects of anaerobic digestion.
HOW IT WORKS
How It Works
- Wastewater influent from the community enters the plant from the North and South.
- The influent streams combine at the headworks facility, which filters out large, inorganic solids through metal bar screens. We also remove sand and gravel with a vortex grit removal system.
- The flow splits between four primary clarifiers where a coagulant helps heavier solids and organic matter clump and settle to the bottom.
- Flow from the primary clarifiers enters aeration basins, where it mixes with oxygen and activated sludge. Microorganisms from the sludge feed on organic particles in the oxygen-rich environment.
- In the secondary clarifiers, the growing microorganisms clump and form larger masses which settle out most remaining suspended solids into activated sludge. Some of the sludge returns to aeration to replenish the microbes there.
- Finally, we disinfect the effluent flow from the clarifiers with sodium hypochlorite to kill any remaining harmful bacteria and then dechlorinate with sodium bisulfite to remove any residual chlorine before discharging the clean effluent into Lake Macatawa.
- Solids from the clarifiers are pretreated and pumped to the digester, where anaerobic (non-oxygen-based) microorganisms convert organic solids into a biogas. The process destroys pathogens in the remaining solids and the biogas contains methane, which we use to generate heat and power.
- We treat the remaining solids with aerobic digestion, allowing aerobic (oxygen-based) microorganisms to break down ammonia, a potentially toxic byproduct, into atmospheric nitrogen.
- The resulting solids conform to Class A standards for safe reuse, so we can export them for use as fertilizer or soil amendments.
HPBW began building a fiberoptic network in 1992 to support communications that monitor and control systems in the field. At that time, excess capacity was built into the network, which allowed HBPW to create an open access network for broadband services. HBPW Broadband Services continues to grow throughout the City of Holland and surrounding areas. These areas cover over 200 miles of fiber, including spurs extending to Saugatuck, Hamilton and Jenison.
HBPW provides three broadband service options: Dark Fiber, Active Ethernet and Shared Gigabit. All HPBW Broadband Services use ultra fast fiber optic cable, delivering simetric upload and download speeds up to 1,000 mbps.
Learn more: https://hollandbpw.com/en/broadband
Broadband development is a key priority in the City of Holland's strategic plan. In 2015, the city challenged HBPW to provide more broadband services, asking "how can the fiber infrastructure be used to provide better, faster and more reliable internet service for our community?" The result was the Downtown Shared Gigabit pilot project that launched in 2018. The Downtown project serves over 130 customers plus partner ISPs. HBPW fiber delivers quality internet service that surpasses speeds and reliability of other ISPs in the area.
Key learnings from Downtown project:
• Great internet service attracts and retains businesses.
• Choice is good for customers; competition drives incumbant ISPs to improve and maintain their service networks.
What is next?
Deeming the first year of the Downtown Shared Gigabit project a success, City Council asked HPBW "what else can you do with the fiber infrastructure to bring access to more people?" So, HBPW and the City of Holland formed a Broadband Taskforce that is lead by Dave Koster, HBPW General Manager, and Keith Van Beek, City Manager of the City of Holland. HBPW staff, city staff, and community stakeholders are working together to explore expansion opportunities for fiber infrastructure through community-based decision making.
Holland utilized the community-based decision making process for the P21 Decision, which resulted in Holland Energy Park, and Waterfront Holland. As we look into broadband development on a greater scale, the same framework for community engagement is being followed. The taskforce is underway and results are expected to be announced later this year.
Broadband Task Force Process
GENERAL COMMUNITY RESOURCES
We have assembled a list of community resources that we thought you might find helpful. Included in this list are organizations that offer valuable services that can benefit your business.
- Lakeshore Advantage (www.lakeshoreadvantage.com)
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit organization specializing in Economic Development for businesses in Allegan and Ottawa Counties. Their dedicated team provides resources such as Growth Assistance, Talent Solutions and Location Assistance.
If you have a question or would like more information on certain Economic Development offerings provided by Lakeshore Advantage, please let us know and we'd be happy to make a personal introduction!
- West Coast Chamber of Commerce (www.westcoastchamber.org)
The West Coast Chamber provides business resources, trainings and networking opportunities for the greater Holland community. From business and talent tools to advocacy programs, the West Coast Chamber believes that a strong business leads to a strong community.
- OAISD – Careerline Tech Center (oaisd.org/ctc)
The Careerline Tech Center (CTC), a part of Ottawa Area ISD, provides area high school students an opportunity to learn in a work-based environment while learning valuable trade skills. These programs range from Engineering Design & Machine Technology to Welding and Electrical/Alternative Energy tracts.
Local employers can participate as Business Advisors, providing advice and assistance to CTC staff members in planning and implementing programs at CTC. Many area employers also partner with CTC to provide opportunities to students such as job shadowing, co-ops, internships, and even apprenticeship programs.
- Energy Star Webinars - focused on water, building portfolios, benchmarking, etc.
Energy Star provides multiple opportunities to learn about energy savings that not only pertain to electricity, but water as well. These opportunities can be viewed via WebEx in real-time, or at your leisure since most are recorded for future reference.
Some recent webinars that might be of interest include: 'Reducing Costs with Quick Water Wins,' 'Building HVAC Operations and COVID-19,' and 'Electric Demand: Tracking and Benchmarking kW to Drive Savings.'