Dual-use solar is buzzing across the globe. Thanks to the education and outreach work of groups around the world—including the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy—global energy companies are actively moving forward with plans to combine solar energy with additional land uses and community benefits.
Enel Green Power’s Aurora Solar project is one of the state’s first large-scale solar developments, having beat out gas on price when the project was approved in 2014. Completed in 2017, the project consists of 16 pollinator-friendly sites spread across central and southern Minnesota. The locations utilize a variety of stewardship practices, including flowering ground cover for bees and birds, low-growing grass meadows, sheep grazing, and adjacent honey bee hives.