Solar projects with appropriate vegetation can provide habitat for pollinators, as well as other wildlife.[42] Rather than planting common turf grasses, some solar facilities are starting to use seed mixes of native grasses and pollinator-friendly flowering plants as ground cover in solar facilities.[43],[44] This provides habitat for pollinators, which can be beneficial to neighboring farms. Minnesota passed the country’s first statewide standards for “pollinator friendly solar” in 2016. According to Fresh Energy, a clean energy nonprofit in St. Paul, more than 2,300 acres of these plants took root near solar panels last year, according to Fresh Energy.[45] Solar facilities can also cooperate with commercial beekeepers to facilitate honey production, although this may conflict with providing habitat for wild pollinators.[46],[47] Pollinators provide benefits for agricultural production at nearby farms where insect-pollinated crops are grown.[48]

  1. ^ Press Association.Solar farms to create natural habitats for threatened British species.The Guardian. March 7, 2016. Accessed August 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/07/solar-farms-to-create-natural-habitats-for-threatened-british-species.
  2. ^ Jordan Macknick, Brenda Beatty, Graham Hill.Overview of Opportunities for Co-Location of Solar Energy Technologies and Vegetation. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. December 2013. Accessed August 2017. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/60240.pdf.
  3. ^ Brenda Beatty, Jordan Macknick, James McCall, Genevieve Braus, David Buckner.Native Vegetation Performance under a Solar PV Array at the National Wind Technology Center.National Renewable Energy Laboratory. May 2017. Accessed August 2017. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/66218.pdf.
  4. ^ Hannah Covington.Ramsey energy company finds perfect pairing in putting bees, solar panels together.Star Tribune. April 2017. Accessed June 2017. http://m.startribune.com/ramsey-energy-company-shoots-for-gooey-gold-beneath-its-solar-array/420790913/
  5. ^ Ibid. http://m.startribune.com/ramsey-energy-company-shoots-for-gooey-gold-beneath-its-solar-array/420790913/
  6. ^ Lina Herbertsson, Sandra A. M. Lindstrom, Maj Rundlof, Riccardo Bommarco, Henrik G. Smith.Competition between managed honeybees and wild bumblebees depends on landscape context.Basic and Applied Ecology. November 2016. Accessed August 2017. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1439179116300378.
  7. ^ Lora A. Morandin, Mark L. Winston.Pollinators provide economic incentive to preserve natural land in agroecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 116(3–4):289–292. September 2006. Accessed June 2017. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880906000910
NC State Credit