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How can solar farms combine with sustainable agriculture to host herds of sheep and improve soil health? What are agricultural, economic, and environmental impacts of co-locating agricultural enterprises such as commercial beekeeping and sheep grazing on photovoltaic sites? Gain insights to these questions with powerful data, analysis and expert commentary from some of brightest minds in the agrivoltaics space.
Virginia's Pollinator-Smart innovative program is designed to provide incentives and tools for the solar industry to adopt a native plant strategy to meet soil and water control regulations, community needs, and the needs of the environment. See why Virginia is leaning into pollinator-friendly habitat policy and learn the criteria necessary to meet Virginia’s Pollinator-Smart certification program.
Hear how mixes of native plants can enable a solar farm to evolve into a multipurpose, high-functioning ecosystem that can support pollinator species, birds, and other wildlife, while enhancing facility economic efficiencies and physical performance of the power system itself (by keeping panels from overheating).
Preparing to manage storm water is a critical path component to any ground-mounted solar farm and the subject of increasing regulatory and policy focus. Explore the essential topic of the greenfield construction elements fundamental to any ground-mounted solar power project, and learn how a penny of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to preventing costly solar farm stormwater failures.
Applying native seed mixes goes beyond beautifying solar sites, but also adding (or returning) naturally functioning habitat with high ecological value. Once a native meadow is established, these high-function habitats conserve essential areas for pollinators, birds, and other small wildlife while simultaneously improving the soil beneath, reducing runoff, and creating attractive aesthetics on the site.
Robin Ernst, President of Monarch Vegetation Services, President of Meadville Land Service, and Partner of Ernst Seed delivers powerful remarks on the environmental challenge and opportunity of ground-mounted solar projects on farmland and brownfield alike. The practical realities of building beneficial habitats for bees and butterflies is serious work, and in these clarion remarks Ms. Ernst goes beyond identifying the project bottleneck emerging in Virginia... and slowing down projects... but she also makes a clear, bold call to action for every professional in the field(s), whether greenfield, brownfield or brightfield, for higher and better forms of solar farm harnessing Mother Nature's true potential.