A Family Farm Harvests the Sun, Generates New Family Income Using Their Land for Solar
January 8, 2018
A Maryland family farm is now home to one of Cypress Creek’s newest solar arrays, providing a stable source of family income and important habitat for pollinators.
When Rebecca Eaves gazed at the Baker Point farm from the school bus each morning as a child, she never imagined owning the property, much less hosting a solar farm. But when Rebecca took a call from a solar developer while riding her combine, she was immediately interested in the opportunity to lease a portion of their land to produce locally generated solar energy.
Watch our video to hear Rebecca and Glenn Eaves Jr. talk about their experience with solar energy and Cypress Creek Renewables.
Baker Point Solar
Rebecca and Glenn Eaves along with their four grown sons, their wives, and six grandkids now host a 9-megawatt solar farm on 60 acres of their land in Thurmont. The energy created by the array is sold to National Geographic Society and Monumental Sports in Washington, D.C. to power 50% of National Geographic headquarters and 25% of the Capitol One Arena. Cypress Creek built the project and now owns and operates the array.
The Eaves and their families have been farming in Frederick County for generations, and they were always interested in the ability to harvest energy from the wind and sun.
“Everything that we do is to take care of the land and our surroundings… it’s what we do and what keeps us going,” Glenn said. “It’s what we do every day; take care of the land so it takes care of us. It’s the same thing with solar.”
Farming is a tough business, with the weather and varying crop prices. “This solar facility is an excellent diversification for us,” Rebecca told us.
Glenn added, “It’s a stable source of income where everything else we do is not so stable. It’s up and down. This year is set, and we know what it’s going to do, what it’s going to provide income wise. We don’t have to guess. Every minute of the day [the solar farm] is working for us.”
Despite their best efforts, the Eaves family consistently had trouble farming crops on the Baker Point land, often having to reseed in places that had flooded. Using their land for solar was a great opportunity.
Rebecca told us, “it seemed like from the very beginning, everything just fell into place.”
Honey Bees and Pollinator Habitat
Baker Point solar is Maryland’s first solar array with a pollinator habitat. This means that different species of native long-stemmed and short-growing flowers and warm-season grasses have been planted around the solar farm. Local pollinators, including honeybees located on the site, will forage for nectar and pollen when the flowers begin to bloom this spring.
Cypress Creek is pioneering a pollinator program on several of its projects across the country, to benefit the environment and local farmers by increasing the wild habitat for pollinators.
“Mr. Baker was very innovative- the little milking parlor he has over there is probably one of the first of its kind… he would think this is pretty neat,” Glenn told us about the previous owner of the farm.
Cypress Creek is thrilled to partner with the Eaves family on the Baker Point solar site.
If you want to learn more about becoming a Cypress Creek landowner partner, please visit our landowners page!
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