Cypress Creek Celebrates National Pollinator Week
June 21, 2018
As a leader in pollinator-friendly solar, Cypress Creek Renewables is excited to celebrate National Pollinator Week. Pollinators—including bees, butterflies, and other insects—are crucial to the country’s food supply and agricultural productivity and play a key role in the size, health, and quality of a wide variety of harvests. Unfortunately, many pollinator species are in decline due to disease, ecosystem destruction, environmental factors, and other issues hurting thousands of farms across the nation. With solar energy’s growth throughout the United States, our industry has the opportunity to contribute to the expansion of pollinator populations by planting and managing beneficial native vegetation. Cypress Creek is seizing this opportunity by committing to planting pollinator-friendly habitat on our solar farms, partnering with national organization to drive scientific research, supporting conservation, and internal education and outreach.
Pollinator-friendly Habitat. Cypress Creek’s Solar + Pollinator Initiative in New York State ensures that 100% or our solar farms in New York State have actively managed pollinator habitat. In alignment with New York State’s recent pollinator-friendly solar bill and its standardized habitat scorecard, growing momentum across the company has further propagated our commitment to pollinator health and conservation. Here’s what Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, had to say about our commitment in the Empire State:
“Cypress Creek Renewables is demonstrating the diverse benefits of solar by partnering with communities to boost local agriculture and protect our environment and vital species, including honeybees. Meaningful action on climate change requires grassroots leadership from towns and cities across the state—community solar with pollinator habitats promotes healthier farms and generates economic development.”
Research. As part of inSPIRE 2.0 with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Cypress Creek is participating in the technical advisory committee to be a part of the larger conversation around the co-location of solar and agriculture. Here’s what Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy, says of the partnership with NREL:
“Research published in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that there are more than 90,000 acres of pollinator dependent crop types immediately adjacent to large scale solar in America today. Pollinator-friendly solar can provide significant and urgently needed foraging habitat where it’s needed most – near crops.”
Conservation. Spanning more than 1.8 million acres of land over 45 states, 24 organizations, agencies, and businesses are working together to develop a voluntary conservation agreement to help the monarch butterfly. Cypress Creek is one of the partner organization working to develop a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA). This CCAA acts as a regulatory mechanism in the form of a public-private partnership between industry partners and USFWS to encourage voluntary conservation for monarchs.
Internal Education and Outreach. As part of an ongoing initiative to provide internal education to all of our employees, we recently held a Solar + Pollinator Lunch & Learn in our flagship Research Triangle Park office on pollinator-friendly solar farms. Topics such as the need for pollinator habitat at a national scale, pollinator health, and habitat designs for solar farms were discussed over lunch.
Locally-sourced honey was incorporated into the sauces for the lunch. Grilled chicken with a honey glaze, roasted root vegetables and various salads topped with honey vinaigrettes, and grilled peaches top with crème fraiche and honey were some of the highlights from employees.