National Pollinator Week 2017

Pollinators including honey bees, native bees, birds, and butterflies, are an irreplaceable public resource. To mark National Pollinator Week, Fresh Energy convened leaders and experts for presentations and the beginning of an ongoing conversation on the topic of how large-scale solar arrays can be built in ways that are beneficial to these important animals. Below are the online archives of two webinars:

Fresh Energy with Monarch Joint Venture
Fresh Energy with Perdue Farms and the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

National Geographic helped close out the week with a feature story highlighting two beekeepers that are producing the “Tesla of Honey.” Fresh Energy with Monarch Joint Venture
Watch the webinar. Dr. Karen Oberhauser of Monarch Joint Venture is one of the world’s foremost experts on monarch butterflies which she has been studying since 1984.

NREL Webinar: Co-locating Agriculture and Solar


Site preparation costs for utility-scale solar projects are expected to account for 20 percent of utility-scale photovoltaics installed costs in 2020. In 2016 the National Renewable Energy Lab began studying low-impact solar development approaches that have the potential to:

Provide significant co-benefits to agriculture
Reduce development costs and environmental impact

In a Department of Energy-sponsored webinar, National Renewable Energy Lab’s Jordan Macknick, SoCore Energy’s Laura Caspari, and Fresh Energy’s Rob Davis presented an update on research and work related to co-location of agriculture and solar. Download PDF of slides. Led by Macknick, National Renewable Energy Lab’s InSPIRE project will comprehensively assess baseline costs, as well as strategies for cost reduction and for environmental impact reduction. Davis reviewed the agricultural benefits of pollinator habitat—a low-growing meadow mix of grasses and flowers.