AMP / Freeze on Clean Energy / Renewable Energy / Solar Energy

Ohio’s solar energy industry spawns new research

BOWLING GREEN — As Ohio’s commitment to solar energy continues to grow, a new era of research is starting to emerge for this state — one that seeks better use of land and airspace in and around massive solar panel arrays.

Following the lead of similar projects in Minnesota, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and other conservation groups on developing habitat for pollinators such as bees and monarch butterflies, as well as just generally beautifying sites or making them more attractive to other forms of wildlife, such as birds.

The goal is to find the right combination of small plants — native wildflowers, shrubs, and grasses — that grow no more than 2 feet tall so as not to obstruct solar panels. The plantings are to serve at least one more function, such as helping out to some degree in keeping algae-growing phosphorus and other farm fertilizers from entering local ditches and streams.

There also are hopes for an educational component that goes beyond electricity produced by solar panels themselves.”

— Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

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