This week the New York State Assembly and Senate unanimously passed The Pollinator Friendly Solar Act, an agricultural bill to establish a statewide vegetation standard for the practice of planting pollinator habitats under ground-mounted solar arrays. Read more.
The unanimous passage of The Pollinator Friendly Solar Act this week, shows strong State commitment to advance the development of clean solar energy and to support our endangered pollinator species. Way to go NYS legislators!
Pollinator Friendly Solar is the practice of adding attractive, pollinator friendly, native plantings under and around ground mounted solar arrays, instead of the typical gravel, concrete or turf grass. This pairing represents a significant opportunity to advance solar energy and, at the same time, address the threat of pollinator extinction, promote a demand for native plants and support local agriculture and farmers.
Over the past year, Bedford 2020 has been leading an effort to bring the benefits of pollinator friendly solar to New York State. Last April, we introduced to New York State the pioneering program that was initiated by Fresh Energy, a Minnesota based nonprofit, in the State of Minnesota. In 2016, the Minnesota program yielded over 2,300 acres of Pollinator Friendly Solar. This acreage is the equivalent of installing a 6’ by 12’ pollinator garden in the backyard of every one of Minnesota’s 1.4 million single-family homes.
Bedford 2020 is currently developing a Demonstration Program in New York State to develop best practices for Pollinator Friendly Solar at a variety of sites – including landfills, brownfields, farms, private properties, schools and corporate headquarters. We will be working with a diverse group of solar developers and researchers to gain learning about optimum soil conditions, plant material and pollinator response.
Exciting news: In celebration of National Pollinator Week, Bedford 2020’s first Demonstration Site, at 5-Spoke Creamery in Goshen, NY will be planted by community volunteers using native plant seeds and plugs supplied by Prairie Restorations, a Minnesota company with 40 years experience in restoration landscape work. Prairie Restorations was responsible for many of the Pollinator Friendly Solar arrays created in Minnesota in 2016.
Please contact us if you want to learn more about the work we are doing to advance Pollinator Friendly Solar in New York: firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 620-2411.