A group of Holland residents participates in a discussion of the city’s energy future lead by Don Triezenberg of the Community Energy Advisory Group
At a neighborhood gathering Tuesday, Sustainability Committee Vice-chair Don Triezenberg presented an overview of the energy choices that currently face Holland: spend $300 million on a coal-fired power plant, or spend $150 million on a natural gas plant and use the remaining $150 million to install district heating and create a loan-fund that can spur energy-efficiency city-wide.
The Community Energy Advisory Group is organizing a series of shareholder meetings spanning the next several months, with the goal of educating Holland on the energy choices their City Council is facing. CEAG believes that an investment of this magnitude is a community issue; the group is devoted to informing stakeholders of the decisions Holland faces and the options available to meet the city’s energy needs.
An open meeting will be held next Tuesday, June 19, at 6:30pm at Holland New Tech High School. CEAG also welcomes invitations to present at any local group and has ambitious outreach goals in place for the next several months. In order to meet these goals, CEAG has partnered with DwellTech Solutions to offer a free home energy audit for Holland residents that volunteer to host an energy plan meeting for their friends and neighbors. Email CEAG at HollandCEAG@gmail.com to volunteer!
Holland resident Coley Brown shared this video by Nicholaas Zomer and Richard Saldana from Holland New Tech high school. Coley says:
“I like this video among many other very well done videos because it stresses the idea of efficiency. No matter what else Holland does with its energy future, efficient homes are a big key to the effectiveness of any future plan.”
Holland Christian teacher Jim Peterson is no stranger to the Student Energy Video Challenge–his students have submitted 16 different videos to the contest. For today’s post, however, we asked him to choose a favorite video not among those from Holland Christian; he chose this one from Holland New Tech students Christina Sanchez, Mario Braho, and Diamond Wolins. The video is a gives an overview of the proposed Community Energy Plan without getting too boring. Jim also had this to say of the video:
“I thought it was fast paced and showed a lot of attention to the concepts of good reporting. The videographers were definitely working on their craft so that they could clearly communicate ideas to their audience. Beyond that it was filled with detail about why we need to improve our use of energy and how I can start right now.”
There are only three more days for videos to collect views, so be sure to share your favorite!
Today Holland resident Kathie Spitzley shares her favorite student energy video with us! Kathie chose this video from Drew Bennett and Dirk Tanis, 11th-grade students at Holland Christian.
“This short video encourages each of us to take action in our own homes to reduce our energy use. Imagine that increasing your energy efficiency by 10 percent can decrease your coal use by 1600 pounds a year. Whatever energy plan takes us into our future, its hallmark has to be efficiency!”
Holland resident Sara Leeland shares her favorite student energy video with us today!
“Our health is deeply connected to the air we breathe–fresh or polluted!” she said of this video, which features an interview with Holland Hospital Urgent Care physician Dr. Cote. The video was produced by Saleen Dixon, Jessa George, Kelly Yu and Hannah Babinski from Holland New Tech.
Do you have a favorite–or several favorite–student videos? Share them with us!
Local businesses and organizations have been extremely generous in their support of the student videos. We’re happy to announce that we’ve finalized the details on prizes, as listed here:
Finalist Awards – most popular videos in grades 8 to 10 and grades 11 to 12 are eligible
- Most Popular Video Award — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Judges Award for Best Quality Finalist in grades 8 to 10 — $200 courtesy of Holland Board of Public Works
- Judges Award for Best Quality Finalist in grades11 to 12 — $200 courtesy of Holland Board of Public Works
- All finalists will receive a gift bag provided by local businesses.
Special Recognition Awards – all video entries are eligible
- Best video on conserving energy at home — Home Energy Audit by DwellTech Solutions ($450 value)
- Best video on conserving energy in industry — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Best video on conserving energy in churches or non-profits — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Best video promoting renewable energy — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Best video to show Holland as a good place to live, work, and play – $100
If you have any other questions about the contest or event, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Conserving energy can seem like a daunting task if you consider all the energy-hungry devices we depend on daily. Before you get discouraged, however, remember that there are lots of relatively painless steps you can take to decrease the amount of energy you use. The first step in this process is often learning more about your own energy habits: places you can cut back, energy leaks you can easily plug, or appliances that could be upgraded for greater efficiency.
Get Energized at the Park, the event series sponsored by the Holland Community Sustainability Committee, has been all about energy efficiency. The first event focused on efficiency in the home, and we got to see a home energy audit on City Council member Jay Peters’ home. The second event featured an audit of the Holland Boys and Girls Club, and was designed for owners of small- and medium-sized businesses or non-profit organizations. The accompanying video from that event was sponsored and produced by Holland Board of Public Works:
With just over a week left in the Student Energy Video Challenge, contestants, judges, and voters are getting excited about the upcoming video festival and awarding the finalists with some great prizes–which now total over $1000.
During the last week to vote, we’re going to be highlighting some “favorite” videos from a variety of people–today the Community Energy Advisory Group has selected some of their favorite videos and explains what they like about each.
Don Triezenberg likes this submission, “Household Energy Efficiency” featuring Hava Zuidema and her 8th grade friends at New Tech High School:
Greg Holcombe likes “A More Efficient City is a More Powerful City”, which very nicely summarizes key City Energy Plan principles and project opportunities. Check it out:
Peter Boogaart picked “Saving Energy and Serving God” because its a great example of how energy conservation gives back; Central Wesleyan invested in efficiency, leading to more dollars to invest in its mission:
Paul Lilly likes “Consuming Energy Wisely” featuring Keith Malmstadt, Great Lake Woods owner and fellow Sustainability Committee member, for his investments in industrial energy conservation.
What do you think about CEAG’s picks? Which videos are your favorites, and why?
The next meeting of the Community Energy Advisory Group is tomorrow, March 20, at 6:30PM. The meetings are open to the public, and we encourage anyone with an interest in energy issues and the Holland Community to attend. Holland New Tech High School is located at 24th and State St.; the meeting will last until about 8:00.
The tentative agenda is listed after the jump. For more information, email Hollandceag@gmail.com. We hope you’ll come and join the discussion!
Last night’s forum on wind energy was well-received by a full auditorium at Herrick District Library in Holland. Panelists at the discussion represented a variety of aspects of wind technology, from Kelly Slikkers of Energetx Composites discussing the molding process of making turbine blades, to Sue Browne from the Blue Green Alliance sharing the positive stories of Ironworkers involved in a renewable energy project at Kellogg Community College. Rich VanderVeen of Mackinaw Power, developers of the largest wind farm in Michigan, was also on the panel, and discussed the importance of involving landowners in each stage of the planning process.
Predictably, the buzzword of the night was “jobs”–jobs in turbine manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. Holland-based Energetx employs about 50 people currently, and Slikkers says they have plans to hire between 50 and 70 laborers and technical workers in the next six months. Eric Justian from West Michigan Jobs Group spoke about the potential of the industry to bring even more jobs to the area; he encouraged audience members to “make some noise about it” in their communities, because local support is often a major factor in the success of new projects.
The event was covered by several local news outlets; Newschannel 3 broadcasted live shortly before the event began, the Holland Sentinel ran a story with several pictures last night, Fox 17 aired a live broadcast after the event wrapped up, and the Grand Rapids Press ran a story this morning.
If you were one of the many people who attended the forum, share your opinion with us! Did you learn anything that changed your views of wind energy? Have any lingering questions after the discussion?