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Large-Scale Solar: Minimize Maintenance, Maximize Benefits

Customer demand, greatly reduced cost, and other factors are driving solar development in Minnesota to unprecedented levels. And the more we build, the cheaper solar gets which means the solar boom is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

For solar developers that value certainty, Prairie Restorations, Inc. is the most experienced restoration company in the region. Companies including Great River Energy rely on us to get a job done right.

A native landscape on your solar site will provide superior storm water control, can increase public support for your site permits, reduce long-term maintenance costs and provide invaluable pollinator habitat.

Solar Sanctuaries for Birds, Bees, and Pollinators

We’re excited about some ground breaking developments…

During what was almost the 11th hour of the final night of Minnesota’s 2016 regular legislative session, a bill was introduced in the House and Senate that establishes standards and guidelines for Minnesota solar developers to create Solar Sanctuaries under solar panels. The bill (HF 3353, SF 2689) flew through the House and Senate almost unanimously. This small piece of legislations accomplishes much for our habitat restoration mission, especially early in 2016 as approximately 2,000 more acres are slated to be initiated for development into solar fields and gardens. Read More on our Blog >

Storm Water Management

Native prairie landscapes provide fantastic, permanent storm water control and excellent soil permeability, allowing water to flow into the soil, rather than away from the site — especially important on sites adjacent to wetlands and other waterways. Species selection for superior storm water management is a necessary step that needs thoughtful consideration, knowledgeable materials selection, and skilled installation.

Increased Public Support for Your Site Permits

Local support or opposition can make or break a project - it’s a simple choice to get charismatic bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies, and song birds on your side during these public hearings. Diverse native landscapes on solar sites provide foraging habitat for wildlife.

Honeybees alone add more than $3 billion of value to our food system - solar sites can have an important role in conservation of these critical pollinators. With engagement and education, the public and numerous local and national advocacy organizations can voice support for speedy approval of your site permits.

Reduced Maintenance Cost, Increased Certainty

A diverse mix of prairie grass and flower species once covered millions of acres across the United States for thousands of years. They are adapted to local conditions and can flourish with minimal attention — they’re built to last for the duration of your project.

A mix of hardy native plants pays for itself in avoided maintenance costs in the first three to five years of being established on a large-scale site. Cost savings over multiple years has been one of the primary drivers for an increasing number of public works, corporate and large-scale native landscaping projects.

Creation of Pollinator Habitat

In addition to providing clean, renewable energy, these solar farms can provide another tremendous benefit: the creation of invaluable pollinator habitat.

Monarch and other critical pollinators are disappearing by the hundreds of millions according to research from the US Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Renowned local scientist Dr. Karen Oberhauser found that nearly 60 percent of Midwestern milkweed vanished from 1999-2009.

Why not use these solar sites to establish the critical pollinator habitat that is so desperately needed? The UK and Germany have been successfully implementing this concept for years. When all of the benefits are considered, this is a truly win-win scenario.

From design to installation and follow up vegetation management, contact PRI to learn more about native landscapes and how they can benefit your solar project.

Energy companies and solar developers such as Great River Energy, NextEra Energy, Blattner Energy and SoCore Energy have chosen to work with PRI on their solar projects.

Great River Energy, one of the nation’s largest electric G&Ts selected Prairie Restorations for its pollinator-habitat projects. Read more in our blog >

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Prairie Restorations Inc.
Princeton Headquarters
31646 128th Street,
Princeton, MN 55371

Ph: 763-389-4342