Beebe Community Wind Farm LLC
Location: Ithaca, MI
Mark Hull put his background in farming and engineering to work by building a wind farm in his community, with the help of REAP. He began in 2007 by holding neighborhood meetings, speaking with developers and experts, and organizing a community trip to a wind farm in a neighboring county. He dedicated himself to getting the community educated and excited about the project.
In 2009, Hull secured a $50,000 REAP grant covering 25% of a feasibility study. That information increased the reliability of wind speed data and made the project more attractive to developers. Today, the 34-turbine, 81-MW wind farm is commercially viable and exceeding production expectations.
Hull says he saw the wind farm as a way to revive the local economy. “The main reason [I pursued the project] was to help my neighbors out,” he said. Hull focused on his community throughout the project’s development, from using local labor for construction to working with the landowners to develop a “farmer-friendly lease.”
Hull highlights benefits to farmers and the local community through turbine lease payments. Hull said many of the landowners are confident this will help to pass viable family farms on to the next generation. “We’re going to see these turbines here forever now,” he said. “I feel like I’m leaving a legacy in the community. It’s all good, it’s all positive.”