But before the first shovel, or bulldozer in this case, could hit the ground, an air use permit to install (a pre-construction permit) would need to be obtained.
Air Permit to Install
On April 26, 2013, NTH Consultants, Ltd. met with HBPW and HDR, Inc. (Owner’s Engineer) to discuss the air permitting requirements. Over a period of 12-weeks NTH worked closely with HDR as the facility design unfolded and new information was obtained. NTH calculated air emissions for several operational scenarios, including various turbine loads, startup, and shutdown; and evaluated applicable state and federal air quality regulations that may impact operation of the plant. An extensive air pollution control technology evaluation was also conducted.
Finally, NTH conducted a thorough ambient impact analysis using dispersion modeling techniques to determine concentrations of regulated air contaminants for comparison to health-based standards. Throughout the application development, NTH completed nearly 100 modeling runs at various exhaust stack locations and parameters, and operational scenarios to determine compliance with federal ambient air quality standards and state of Michigan air toxic health based screening levels.
The permit application was submitted on July 22, 2013 and a final air permit was approved by the MDEQ on December 4, 2013. NTH worked closely with MDEQ during the permit review process to ensure major milestones were met and that the project was moving forward. Typical air permitting timelines for projects of this magnitude can be anywhere from 6-18 months, but the MDEQ processed the HBPW permit application approximately less than 6-months from application submittal. This was due largely to the fact that during the public comment period, MDEQ did not receive any comments from the public, U.S. EPA or environmental groups, so they were able to quickly move forward with approval as soon as the comment period ended.
A Community-Driven Project
The Holland Energy Park continues to be a community-driven project. The P21 website contains frequent news blogs to update the public on the latest information, live tracking of the turbine voyage from Finspång, Sweden to Holland, Michigan, and live video feed via webcams so that onlookers can catch real time progress on the construction of the plant. HBPW has also built an observation deck near the site allowing full public access. And when HBPW completely closed down streets from Verplank Dock to the construction site over a 4-day period to allow the massive 200-ton HRSG’s make their way to the site, an impromptu parade commenced as spectators lined the streets to watch and cheer.
The site is busy with trucks, bulldozers, excavators, and several cranes. Holes are being dug, foundations placed, pipes laid, concrete poured, steel framework erected, equipment delivered.
None of it would be possible without the air permit!