The wind power project was initiated in 2007 by local resident Mark Hull, Principal of Beebe Community Wind Farm LLC. Hull brought on Nordex last year to support project development as well as to supply 125 of Nordex’ new N117-2.4 MW wind turbines, which are designed specifically for low wind sites and are derived from the established Nordex 2.5 MW class. The N117 boasts the longest rotor blade in its category, resulting in an average 15% yield increase over previous products. The turbines will be manufactured at Nordex’ recently constructed plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
“We were initially interested in Nordex’ turbine technology for our class-3 wind site,” said Hull, “but including them in the project team has considerably accelerated our development efforts. Wind projects require specialized expertise in several complex areas, so having Nordex on our side has been a true asset.”
The partnership expands Nordex’ track record for robust customer support offerings to the United States. “As a turbine manufacturer, we consider it important not only to provide reliable and efficient turbines, but also to support our customers in the course of project development,” said Ralf Sigrist, President and CEO of Nordex USA. “Nordex has added value to developers in Europe through such partnerships for almost 10 years, and we are happy to bring this service now to our US customers.”
The Beebe Community Wind Farm takes a community-based approach that spreads economic benefit among local land owners through land leasing arrangements and to the greater community through tax revenue. More than 20,000 acres of land have been leased. The project has interconnection positions on a 345 kV line, and has been granted its Special Use Permit from the county. Wind has been measured on the site for more than two years with met towers and SODARs, and continued environmental studies support the project’s feasibility. Power sale discussions are ongoing with several potential off-takers. The start of phase one construction is targeted for 2012, with further phases slated for 2013 and 2014.
Nordex has both completed and planned installations in several states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Idaho and Colorado. The Arkansas facility will fill all future orders, shipping turbines to wind farms around the country.