Our Energy Committee strives to create opportunities on solar farms, transmission right-of-ways and natural gas right-of ways, where pollinator-friendly habitat can be created with native vegetation. This committee is well-represented by natural resource entities as well as industries and energy companies.
We have updated our solar technical guidance document for the establishment of pollinator habitat on solar farms! Click here to download: NC Solar Technical Guidance. You can also check out our newly released Solar Farm Monitoring Report with several years of data investigating the benefit of various types of native vegetation and wildlife-friendly practices on solar farms across the State. If you have any questions, please contact Gabriela Garrison (NC Wildlife Resources Commission), Bryan Tompkins (US Fish & Wildlife Service), or Liz Kalies (NC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy).
Why plant native? There are a host of good reasons to plant native, especially on solar farms! Once early successional/pollinator habitat is established, maintenance requirements are significantly reduced. In addition, native vegetation has deep root systems which stabilize the soil and aid in storm water filtration. Native habitat also acts as ‘carbon sinks’, with most of carbon absorption happening below ground in deep root systems. Check out this picture, illustrating the significantly minor root systems of turf grass, compared to the very intricate root systems of native grasses and forbs.