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Solar + Pollinators Initiative

Cypress Creek Renewables is committed to the communities we serve and partner with to develop, build, and operate solar farms. As such, we are pioneering our Solar + Pollinators Initiative to benefit the environment and local farmers by increasing the wild habitat for pollinators, such as birds, bees, and butterflies.

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Pollinators and
Cypress Creek Solar Farms

Pollinator populations are in decline in the United State due to environmental stressors, including pesticides, parasites, diseases, and malnutrition. Without appropriate vegetation and land management, the number of pollinators will continue to decrease, putting farms and crop yields dependent upon flowering plants at risks.1 At the same time, solar energy projects are being developing in agriculture areas. Co-locating pollinator-friendly habitats and vegetation on solar farms can support and expand local pollinator populations and bring benefits to surround agriculture and the environment.

Pollinators and Agricultural Land Use

Pollinators provide an ecological service that is a requirement for more than 85% of the world’s flowering plants which is inclusive of most global crop species. Annually, around $3 billion is generated in the United States due to native pollinators’ services for over 100 crops.2

1 Devkota, Kedar, Shiva Chandra Dhakal, and Resham Bahadur Thapa. “Economics of Beekeeping as Pollination Management Practices Adopted by Farmers in Chitwan District of Nepal.” Agriculture & Food Security. BioMedCentral, 05 May 2016. Web.

2 “New England Pollinator Handbook.” Pollinator Biology (2009): n. pag. Pollinator Biology and Habitat. USDA - NRCS. Web.

"Solar farms provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enable significant private-sector investment in acres and acres of clean and healthy pollen and nectar for the insects that are urgently needed in agriculture."

Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy

Additional
Agricultural Benefits

During the solar farm’s operation, soils rest and rebuild while the deep-rooted plants add organic matter and fertile top soil.

With pollinator habitat, storm water runoff can decrease 8 – 23%, depending on storm severity and amount of rainfall. A diverse mix of plants have stronger hydrologic performance standards than turf-grasses and other monocropping practices.3

3 “Soil, Crop, & Storm Water Benefits of Solar Sites.” Fresh Energy, 22 Mar. 2016. Web.


Farm Income Generation in the U.S. in 2010 Due to Pollinators4
Directly Pollinated CropsIndirectly Pollinated Crops
Apples Alfalfa
AlmondsSugar Beets
BlueberriesAsparagus
CherriesBroccoli
OrangeCarrots
SquashOnions
$16.3 Billion$12.65 Billion
$29 Billion

4 http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2012/05/insect-pollinators-contribute-29b-us-farmincome