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  • The Renewable Energy Working Group is hosting our June webinar on June 23, 2022 at 3:00 PM (EST) featuring Lee Walston from Argonne National Laboratory.

    Title: If You Build It, Will They Come? Pollinator Responses to The Establishment of Solar-Pollinator Habitat in the Midwestern U.S.

    Abstract: The expansion of utility-scale solar development across the U.S. has increased the pressure on land resources for energy generation and other land uses (e.g., agriculture). To address this growing issue, greater emphasis has been placed on development strategies that maximize the benefits of energy generation and multiple ecosystem services, such as combining solar energy development with biodiversity conservation. Compared to other types of site management, the restoration of native grassland habitat at solar energy facilities (“solar-pollinator habitat”) has the potential to improve habitat quality for pollinating insects and other native wildlife, while also providing other ecosystem service benefits. As more solar developments are being managed for solar-pollinator habitat, there is a need for monitoring projects to inform questions around ecological performance, scalability, and management considerations. In this presentation, I share an ecological performance monitoring design for solar energy facilities in the Midwest that include solar-pollinator habitat. The primary ecological performance measures we are investigating include: (1) vegetation establishment and habitat composition; (2) on-site insect pollinator abundance and diversity; and (3) off-site pollinator visitation to nearby agricultural areas. Preliminary findings from monitoring efforts will be shared.

    Please contact us for meeting details at