Lower Long Term Maintenance Costs:
A native landscape in a solar array takes time to develop and requires patience along with careful management the first few years. However, if a solar site is prepared and planted correctly, and necessary maintenance is performed, it lowers the long-term overall O&M cost. Solar sites offer unique challenges that require the necessary experience and equipment to implement a proper management plan. No vegetation is ever maintenance free.
Greater Community Reception to Development:
Some of the public benefits of a native pollinator friendly solar site include increased pollinator presence at the site and very commonly surrounding area orchards and gardens within a three-mile radius of the site. The deep root systems of native habitat create channels sometimes over 12 feet deep in which rainwater flows, replenishing the water table as it’s filtered by the soil. Critical habitat on the site is being provided for songbirds, native insects and butterflies, and the opportunity for honeybee apiaries to be installed at the array, creating agricultural use of the site.
Soil Stabilization & Reduced Storm Water Run Off:
Turf grass frequently requires application of fertilizers throughout the life of the array, 20-25 years (native plants do not) and the shallow root systems of turf grasses do not promote water retention, instead often creating water run-off and erosion challenges. No useful habitat is created on a turf-planted site and there isn’t any forage for pollinators. Drought years can cause die-off due to the shallow root system of turf, creating acres of exposed soil for invasive species of many heights to establish.
Giving Back to the Land, Local Farms & Our Food Source
By incorporating native and pollinator vegetation on your site you are using the full potential of the soil and providing critical habitat for pollinators.