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Good stewards! solar plants to protect bumble bee populations

gene

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,450
15,147
Santa Barbara, CA
I drive by large California solar plants in the deserts and just get pissed off for the wildlife habitat they have scraped clean. I know good and well that rooftop solar on every roof in California is the better answer.

But this article does make me feel somewhat better that the land is not going to waste:
More states use solar plants to protect bumble bee populations


To combat “colony collapse”, two solar developers – Cypress Creek Renewables and Florida Power & Light (FPL) – have built three utility-scale solar farms that are landscaped with native plants and flowers to provide rich habitats to support the bees’ flagging populations................click link for more
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
14,161
19,690
New Mexico
I know how you feel Gene, but we will have to wait for residential PV to come down in price to utility scale prices per kW before the large power plants are reigned in. The good news is that Germany has shown that roof PV can be cheap.

By the way, in my locale a group of volunteers including myself donate a few hours on weekends to to help home owners DIY install on roofs or on the ground. Either way works out to ~ $1/watt after the federal tax credit.
 

gene

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,450
15,147
Santa Barbara, CA
I know how you feel Gene, but we will have to wait for residential PV to come down in price to utility scale prices per kW before the large power plants are reigned in. The good news is that Germany has shown that roof PV can be cheap.

By the way, in my locale a group of volunteers including myself donate a few hours on weekends to to help home owners DIY install on roofs or on the ground. Either way works out to ~ $1/watt after the federal tax credit.
I assume many of you are aware of this group already, if not , check them out! GRID Alternatives | People. Planet. Employment
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,185
13,958
United States
I drive by large California solar plants in the deserts and just get pissed off for the wildlife habitat they have scraped clean. I know good and well that rooftop solar on every roof in California is the better answer.

I agree DG is better. But the amount of land we would need to set aside for solar farms is a rounding error compared to the land we use for farming. And there are ways to integrate both to make use of otherwise 'wasted' land. It's been mentioned on the forum before... but you could put all the solar we would ever need between the center-pivot circles on our farms.

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 3.54.51 PM.png
 
I want to try to make solar "flowers" affordable to put into farms: essentially, 50' or so columns with large rotating circle or square shaped platforms on top either full of flat panels or focused panels. I would want to make them only take about 50% or 25% of the sunlight for the area. While that would reduce natural life energy by 25% to 50% or more due to shading, at least they could compete with my solar farms. The "scrape clean" thing you mention would not be necessary with the tall columns. As I said, I'd have to work on affordability.

Another thing I want to do is make the same things work well in sand. I have some ideas for that. But some ideas for that also include non-column type panels; I'd only want those in non-life bearing sand.
 
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