“It started as a trickle and now the floodgates are open. Solar arrays that once sat on barren ground are now festooned with plants that attract bees, birds, and butterflies. Even the US Energy Department is getting into the act. With that in mind, let’s take a look at four newly minted solar power plants that have built-in benefits for pollinators, too.”

  • Beauty Co. Aims For Carbon-Positivity With Solar Panels – The natural hair care company Aveda already keeps beehives on its Blaine campus in Minnesota, and a new 3.6 acre, 900 kilowatt array of solar panels will enable it to add more hives because it is planted with pollinator-friendly plants, not gravel or ground cover. If that sounds like having your solar cake and eating it, too, it is.

  • 120-Year-Old Coal Power Plant Out, Solar + Pollinators In – The city of Logansport, Indiana retired its ancient coal power plant a while back, and now the Logansport Municipal Utility is replacing it with the help of 16 megawatts worth of solar panels. Logansport Municipal Utility partnered the organizations Fresh Energy and the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund to create a pollinator-friendly field. The new array will include a solar education element for local schools and a college scholarship for whoever comes up with the best name for the new solar park.
    The PPA deal enables Logansport to get all those green goodies with no money down, thanks to a 30-year contract financed by the firm Alchemy Renewable Energy.

  • More Pollinators + Solar Panels For Green Mountain State – Back in 2017, the solar developer Green Lantern Solar partnered with Bee the Change to build a pollinator-friendly solar array in New Haven, Vermont. The project garnered praise from the Pollinator-Friendly Solar Initiative at the University of Vermont, and now the partners are back at it again with a second solar installation in New Haven.

  • GIANT Step For Solar + Pollinators – In terms of industry-wide influence, this next one is probably the most significant. Last month The GIANT Company put the finishing touches on a 7-acre field of solar panels at its corporate headquarters in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Ernst Conservation Seeds is the company that will populate the new array with pollinator-friendly plants. The project also connects GIANT with the organization Planet Bee Foundation.

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