“Combining renewable energy production with pollinator-friendly habitats is a win-win-win for the environment, pollinators, and humans.” - CPR Member Dr. Harland Patch

As society moves towards more renewable energy resources, like solar energy, there is a great opportunity to merge more sustainable energy production with landscape restoration for pollinator communities. The open plan of solar sites provides high light levels for diverse pollinator meadows that can turn an otherwise plant-depauperate area into a thriving landscape for floral and pollinator diversity.

When planting a pollinator meadow, there are two main factors that require consideration.. First, there needs to be a plan for control of invasive and undesirable plants that may try and establish in your meadow. This requires an individualized and written plan for each restoration site including the plants you expect to have to control and the methods for controlling them (i.e, mechanical or chemical methods). The other main consideration is determining how to seed the ground. Larger plots should have consultation with professional restoration organizations. Ernst Conservation Seeds has an Uplands, Meadows & Pollinator Planting Guide that can be a great place to start when considering what you need to plant your pollinator-friendly solar farm!

A comprehensive guide to the management of pollinator meadows on solar farms exists through the Virginia Pollinator Smart program. Additional information can be obtained by referencing this Powerpoint presentation written by the Xerces Society.