Energy
6:54 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Should Holland’s power plant stop burning coal and switch to natural gas?

Holland’s city owned utility would be better off if it burned natural gas rather than coal in the future. That’s the conclusion of a months-long study released this week.

The city hired an energy consultant firm to figure out which of its many energy options would produce the best return on investment. The firm said natural gas would be the best bang for the buck. The report says that return also considers other factors like the environment.

At more than 60 years, Holland’s coal plant is getting old. For a while the city has been trying to decide what to do with it.

For years the city fought former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s administration in court to get an air quality permit that would allow the city to reconstruct and expand the coal plant. But since it got the permit, Holland hasn’t decided if it’ll use it. Converting the plant to natural gas would require new government permits.

Holland is asking the public to weigh in on the study online or during two public hearings next month.