Rich Vander Veen (2015)
Rich Vander Veen is President of Mackinaw Power. Vander Veen led the Bay Windpower team which successfully initiated, financed and constructed the Great Lakes’ first privately developed commercial wind power project. The Mackinaw City Wind Power Plant is generating new, zero-emissions power today, serving “Green Power” customers across Michigan. Vander Veen has twenty-five years of experience with innovative environmental and energy projects.
Described as “the Godfather of Michigan wind power,” he is the developer behind both the state’s first commercial wind farm—the two turbines in Mackinac City near the south end of the Mackinac Bridge—and the state’s largest wind farm, the 133 turbine development in Gratiot County. He also pioneered a new community-based approach to developing wind projects, leading Gratiot County Commission to unanimously adopt countywide wind zoning.