Implosive demolition takes place at US power plant
14 August 2023
Specialist contractor Bierlein has carried out a controlled implosion at the James DeYoung Power Plant (JDY) - situated to the northeast of Chicago in Michigan, United States, taking down one of the plant’s ageing, main structures.
The implosive demolition took place on Thursday 10 August and was watched by hundreds of local residents, including a number on boats that had gathered on the nearby Macatawa River.
It was the latest phase of a multi-year process that started when the coal-fired plant was shut down in 2017, after 78 years in operation.
Dave Koster, General Manager at Holland board of Public Works - the owner of JDY, said: “The James De Young Power Plant was a foundational asset that provided affordable and reliable electricity for generations, helping Holland to develop into the place we know today.
“As the community grew, eventually our electricity needs changed. The coal plant’s replacement, Holland Energy Park, has increased our generation capacity, lowered rates, and cut our carbon emissions in half.”
Holland BPW considered multiple options for handling the retired power plant. Repurposing the building was one idea, however no developers took interest in the project.
“The City of Holland received three proposals for developing the land and none of those included keeping the JDY building. So, demolishing the building and selling the parcel is the best option for upholding safety, sustainability, and value for our rate payers as relates to JDY,” said Dave.
“We are grateful to our team and partners who, through careful planning and responsible remediation, carried out an expert demolition. Clearing the space where James De Young once stood opens new opportunities for the waterfront in Holland.”
Bierlein, which was contracted to the project by turkney remediation specialist ERM, began remediation and abatement works at the site earlier this year.
The removal and safe disposal of hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead-based paints, was completed in late April, followed by structural demolition works in May.
The demolition phase of the decommissioning project is scheduled to be completed in third quarter of this year, and is expected to cost a total of US$5.7 million - far below its allocated budget of US$6.5 million.