Authored by agriculture leaders, a new law sends a clear signal to the solar industry regarding a preferred practice for use of land on solar sites. State-wide standard will meaningfully help Minnesota’s bees, monarchs, pheasants, and songbirds, by providing abundant, high-quality foraging habitat on solar sites.
When investing $1-$2 million per acre in solar panels, one tends to focus on the benefits directly generated by the new hardware — 100% fuel-free energy with no moving parts. However—simply by using the right seed mix—each of these sites can also provide significant agricultural benefits related to storm water, soil, and crop pollination.
Fresh Energy is proud to announce that it will partner with the U.S. Department of Energy to host a National Community Solar Partnership workshop in 2016. Building off of a National Community Solar Summit at the White House on November 17, the workshop will convene solar companies, nonprofits, and state and local community leaders who are working to expand community solar in the Midwest.
In 2016 Minnesota is poised for a large solar bloom — likely more than 4,000 acres of ground-mounted solar will be built. That’s a piddling 0.01 percent of Minnesota’s 26.9 million acres of farmland and will generate less than two percent of the state’s electricity. But for bees, monarch butterflies, and all pollinators, it will provide a world of good.
Fresh Energy Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2013-14