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Solar Farms: Bridging Climate and Biodiversity Conservation

Preserving and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems are one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Apart from climate change, it is the loss of biodiversity that counts among the greatest threats that the planet is facing nowadays.

Undoubtedly, every effort should be made to promote biodiversity. And this is where photovoltaic farms can be of great support. With properly planned mitigation measures and proper management of the solar farm, they can have a highly beneficial effect on the natural environment and act as some sort of biodiversity hotspots.

Photovoltaic farms offer a unique opportunity to address two critical environmental challenges simultaneously: climate change and biodiversity loss.

Photovoltaic farms have a dual benefit. Producing clean energy while supporting biodiversity, wich makes them valuable assets in efforts to address both climate change and biodiversity loss. By maximizing the ecological potential of PV farm sites through biodiversity-friendly practices, we can unlock the full potential of renewable energy infrastructure to create a more sustainable and resilient future for both people and the planet.

Increasing biodiversity on photovoltaic farms can be achieved through simple solutions focused on diversifying natural habitats within the farm. These measures can lead to greater species diversity and ecological resilience. However, it’s crucial to recognize that each location is unique, and the implementation of appropriate measures should consider local conditions and ecological constraints.

By implementing targeted measures aimed at restoring habitats and protecting pollinator populations, Greenvolt Power aims to enhance the resilience and sustainability of ecosystems in the PV Trzemeszno area, ultimately benefiting both biodiversity and human well-being.

An exemplary demonstration of this commitment is our current initiative to implement a Biodiversity Management Plan at PV Trzemeszno.

PV Trzemeszno consists of two neighbouring 1MW solar parks (Trzemeszno 6 & 7), both located in on the same plot, in Trzemeszno commune, Gniezno County in Greater Poland Voivodeship, west-central Poland.

The Biodiversity Management Plan for PV Trzemeszno is based on two fundamental steps:

  1. Halting the Decline of Biodiversity: This step focuses on identifying and minimizing negative impacts on the environment and implementing compensatory measures according to a mitigation hierarchy to stop further decline in biodiversity. Preserving currently existing valuable natural resources and environmental elements, which have high potential for inclusion in subsequent steps, is crucial.
  2. Increasing Biodiversity: This step focuses on creating conditions favorable for the development of valuable natural elements that may potentially occur in the area but are currently absent. This “rewilding” may involve reintroducing species, restoring natural habitats, and removing barriers to natural ecological processes.

Specifically for the PV Trzemeszno site, two main directions of action have been specified:

  • Habitat restoration,
  • Support for local pollinator populations.

Biodiversity Management Plan at Trzemeszno Solar Farm

The decision to implement a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the PV Trzemeszno area stems from the recognition of its potential to enrich local habitat diversity. Despite the economic potential, the area has the capacity to provide essential resources and habitat for various species, including pollinators and plants. By implementing the biodiversity action plan tailored to local conditions which bases on habitat restoration and conservation measures it is possible to maximize the ecological benefits of the area while still meeting investment objectives. Therefore, introducing a BMP is a proactive step to ensure responsible management of biodiversity and ecosystem services within the PV Trzemeszno area.

This Action in Trzemeszno is designed to effectively manage biodiversity by both halting its decline while increasing it  actively  through restoration and the facilitation of natural ecological processes. Key areas of focus include habitat restoration and support for local pollinator populations.

Action Plan implemented in Trzemeszno

  • removal of invasive species from the PV farm
  • improving fence (bending wires) to prevent injuring animals
  • placing clay blocks serving as nesting structures for wild bees
  • constructing sheltersfor small animals from stones and branches
  • drilling holes in stumps to create nesting structures for wild pollinators
  • planting trees and shrubs
  • sowing:
    • food plants for pollinators
    • plants providing shelter and building material for bee nests
    • xerothermic and sandy grasslands

Article written by: Sylwia Jaruga-Białaś, Environmental and Biodiversity Expert at Greenvolt Power

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