A snapshot of the Kent State University — Trumball project in Warren, Ohio which showcases pollinator-friendly habitat growing beneath the installation. (Photo courtesy of EPC partner, Melink Solar)

At Madison Energy Investments, we understand the importance of environmental consideration, land use and the betterment of the communities in which we work. We have exercised this three-fold solution in the northeastern corner of Ohio, where pollinator-friendly seeding has created a robust opportunity for neighboring farms, local biodiversity and more. Pollinator-friendly habitats, utilizing the space under and surrounding distributed generation solar systems, are an easy win-win.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has identified a number of these benefits through its InSPIRE project. “Native and flowering vegetation provides a habitat for native species, especially pollinators and other beneficial insects that can improve yields at nearby farms. One surprising thing is how rapidly and significantly pollinator-friendly solar has taken off in the States,” said Jordan Macknick, NREL’s lead energy-water-land analyst and principal investigator for the InSPIRE project.

Our project in Ohio is happily one of many taking advantage of these findings. In states where agriculture plays such a pivotal role in the overall economy, it’s important for renewable energy to benefit and complement existing industry.