I know many farmers see solar power sites as an eyesore. Truth be told, I did too, until we realized we could actually farm them. Here's a thread on how @kinburnsheep and I graze solar sites 1/many
The truth is, solar sites still grow a heckuva lot of plants. The panels provide shade and shelter for sheep, and the perennial ground cover provides habitat for bees, birds, and plenty of insects. The idea of "scorched earth" solar sites is completely inaccurate 2/many
Solar sites require vegetation abatement in some form. On the 200 acre site we currently graze (but do not own), we have eliminated herbicide use (though reserve the option), and eliminated all mechanical mowing except to make hay for the ewes. We're paid to graze.
The joining of sheep and solar means farmland is still producing food. And plenty of energy. And honey. And habitat. The ground stays covered. The sheep fertilize. Because we manage the grazing, there's always food and shelter for pollinators 4/ many
Contrary to what you may have heard, solar sites can be fully returned to bare land, and contracts require it. Panels and pieces are recycled. Solar companies want vibrant, alive growth below the panels and are very supportive of grazing. They have sustainability goals, too
Grass can grow BETTER on solar sites, especially in drought. We have expanded our flock without taking on expensive land. We have diversified our farm income. This land is being well cared for, and its biodiversity would put many annually cropped fields to shame 5/many
Solar grazing is a win-win-win — for farmers, for solar companies, for the environment (on many levels). That means our society wins. Our customers win. This is an exciting opportunity for sheep farmers, land owners, and solar companies. Follow @SolarGrazing for more! 6/6 FIN.