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An Old-Fashioned Barn Raising in Holland | Business

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An Old-Fashioned Barn Raising in Holland
An Old-Fashioned Barn Raising in Holland

by Stephanie Doublestein

Don Trizenberg, a Holland retiree, has been spending many of his balmy summer evenings drinking lemonade in people’s backyards. He’s not just a friendly neighbor; he’s the vice chairman of the Holland Sustainability Commission, and he’s trying to discuss the city’s ambitious Community Energy Plan with as much of the community as possible.
 
The CEP, generated at the request of the city council with significant input from international consultants Garforth & Associates, was finalized and presented in September 2011, though that was by no means the end of the story. The document, a thick stack of graphs, tables, projections and recommendations, has sparked an important conversation about the future of Holland’s energy use.
 
Mayor Kurt Dykstra says the conversation now is not only about the ways a Midwest college town could implement some of the unique recommendations in the CEP, but also about looking at both energy supply and demand going forward.
 
“For so long, so much sustainability discussion has focused on the generation question -- wind vs. coal, for example -- but this is more a question of how we can make the best use of the energy we...

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