SolarCulture

KEEP AGRICULTURAL LAND PRODUCTIVE BEYOND THE SOLAR POWER


Incorporating pollinator habitats to ensure the land's longevity.

WHAT IS SOLARCULTURE?


SolarCulture is an initiative developed by Pine Gate Renewables (PGR) to enhance environmental stewardship, promote sustainable agriculture, and collaborate with the community to support research with a goal of encouraging smarter solar through science.

Through collaboration with landowners, farmers, and local and national organizations, PGR strives to keep agricultural land productive beyond the solar power generated by the panels. The SolarCulture initiative is driven by identifying ecosystem services that can be enhanced at a given project location through consideration to the longevity and fertility of the regional agricultural landscape.

HOW DOES IT WORK?


While working with landowners and partners, PGR’s solar sites are reviewed for opportunities to incorporate pollinator habitat, sustainable agriculture, and research test plots.

In most cases, revegetation occurs with reintroduction of native plants throughout the solar site and along visual buffers, in order to restore the land and provide critical pollinator habitat. Where a site has a farmer or ranching partner, options are explored for seed or crop production, or even potential grazing opportunities. Through collaboration with our partners, research test plots are included on a number of sites to monitor site-specific native vegetation establishment and pollinator populations. Findings are published and shared broadly to lead the industry toward an even more sustainable solar.
 

BENEFITS

POLLINATOR HABITATS

Native plant species are incorporated into on-site revegetation efforts to support pollinators, their crucial crop pollination services, and their rippling benefits to local farms and economies.

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

The SolarCulture initiative utilizes knowledge from local groups to craft seed mixes and maintenance plans for the individual site needs so production can continue for generations to come.

ECONOMIC

Local jobs and vegetation are supported. Landscape contractors are hired for the installation and ongoing maintenance of native vegetation restoration sites, and local farmers have an opportunity to collaborate through the collocation of crops and/or livestock within the solar project.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

There are four categories of ecosystem services which provide unseen, integral benefits we freely gain from the environment. The SolarCulture initiative assesses the current state of these services and determines possibilities for enhancement at any given site.
 

PROJECTS

diamond

VALLEY CREEK

2.2 MWs


VALLEY CREEK


◊ ~350 powered homes
◊ 1 acre NREL test plot
◊ 12.3 acres total wet prairie habitat
◊ 2 acres high diversity pollinator habitat
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GRAND RONDE

2.2 MWs


GRAND RONDE


◊ ~350 powered homes
◊ 1 acre NREL test plot
◊ 9.7 acres total upland prairie habitat
◊ 0.5 acre high diversity pollinator habitat
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EAGLE POINT

9.9 MWs


EAGLE POINT


◊ ~1,575 homes powered
◊ 1 acre NREL test plot
◊ 41.4 acres total wet prairie habitat
◊ 3.4 acres high diversity pollinator habitat
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WOODLINE

8 MWs


WOODLINE


◊ ~1,280 homes powered
◊ 1 acre NREL test plot
◊ 58 acres total wet prairie habitat
◊ 8 acres high diversity pollinator habitat

Photos taken of PGR Eagle Point site by Sean Prive at Lomakatsi Restoration Project