Thank you for your interest in pollinator-friendly solar. The following documents are intended to provide best-practice guidelines for vegetation management companies and civil engineers working on solar arrays, as well as a resource for citizens and policy makers that seek a common evaluation method for what constitutes “pollinator-friendly” in the context of a solar array.
One of the driving factors in pollinator declines is loss of flowers in the landscape due to changing land-use practices. Wisconsin is home to approximately 500 species of wild bees that rely on flower-rich environments.
The best way to protect pollinators is by establishing diverse plantings of mostly native plants that provide continuous flowers throughout the growing season and are free from pesticides. Creating more pollinator-friendly habitat within the landscape will provide high quality resources that encourage and support pollinator populations in Wisconsin.
In keeping with the values of Wisconsin’s agricultural communities, many of the early ground-based solar arrays developed in Wisconsin were created with careful consideration of the soil, water, and pollinators that are critical to agriculture. We are encouraged by these early adopters and hope that you will follow their lead.
This program was developed by our research team at the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Entomology, lead by Hannah Gaines-Day, Olivia Bernauer and Claudio Gratton. Our partners at Fresh Energy (Rob Davis) and Renew Wisconsin (Tyler Huebner) helped initiate this project and connected us with others states who have developed similar programs.