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Swapping Coal for Solar

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Goodbye, dirty old coal-fired power plant. Hello, sunshine, bees and butterflies. This is a win-win-win for residents, the Earth, and our food systems.

The town of Logansport, Indiana is trading their last coal power plant for an 80 acre, 16 megawatt solar farm.

In addition to the investment in green, renewable energy, the town is also investing in the health of its insect populations with pollinator habitat taking centre stage in the new farm. 

Happily, combining beneficial habitats for insects with solar panel fields is part of a growing trend.

Built-in partnership with Inovateus Solar and Alchemy Renewable Energy, the new solar farm will generate enough electricity to power 3,700 homes. The project, set to be completed in 2021, will also support pollinators with a pollinator seed mix planted beneath the panels. The plants attract bees and butterflies more than the traditional ground cover. The 40 species of pollinator-friendly plants being distributed throughout the farm include sky blue aster, purple coneflower, crimson clover, goldenrod, and lemon bee balm.

The system is mutually beneficial. Solar power provides reliable green energy while pollinators create a cooler micro climate and improve local agricultural yields. Furthermore, attracting more pollinators will also benefit certain crops, as having a diverse assemblage of pollinators (not just one or a few species) can dramatically improve crop yield. By providing food and habitat for pollinators, it can potentially boost the number of pollinators in an area and help surrounding farms be pollinated more efficiently.

Logansport was traditionally a coal town, but after 122 years of active smokestacks, the town is embracing the future of green energy and providing for its most vulnerable insect populations at the same time. This is a win-win-win for residents, the Earth, and our food systems.

Source: Inhabitat

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