Hosted By Cody Smith

Original Post by Center for Rural Affairs on April 27,2020

Cody Smith, policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, hosts this webinar on best management practices for implementing native vegetation on solar project sites in the region with Rob Davis, director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy. 

Discussion includes native seed mix selections for solar sites, management options for site operators and options for communities to require this practical co-use on solar sites. Other topics include planning, total cost of implementation, seeding methods and construction considerations.

“This webinar aims to serve as a resource for community leaders, project developers, utility professionals, and soil and water conservation experts so they can take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity for mutually-beneficial investments in conservation,” Smith said. 

The relationship among plants, soil, insects, and water is complex. This film by Prairie Restorations, Inc. explains the unique opportunity to rebuild America’s prairies and power the country, by co-locating solar arrays with pollinator habitat.

“What better use than to make it into a win-win situation. Now we can generate electricity, but under those solar panels, we can generate pollinator habitat, plant habitat, soil enhancement – it’s just absolutely a no-brainer,” says Prairie Restorations Founder Ron Bowen.

AgriSolar Clearinghouse partner Greg Barron-Gafford highlights the Biosphere 2 work in Agrivoltaics, including the application of biosphere techniques to fine-tune agrivoltaic crop growing.

The project includes citizen science that engages high-school students in a long-term agrivoltaic installation at the University of Rincon High School.

This video was produced by The Good Stuff.

AgriSolar Clearinghouse partner Greg Barron-Gafford describes the mutual benefits of growing crops under solar panels in large-scale solar arrays.

In this video produced by Arizona Public Media, Dr. Gafford explains these benefits through an ecological approach of a salsa garden understory and a solar panel overstory.