Oil giant BP’s subsidiary Lightsource bp has started construction of a ‘pollinator-friendly’ solar farm in California.
Located in Rio Linda, about ten miles north of Sacramento, California, the 16.5MW Wildflower solar project is designed to provide a renewable community power source while restoring pollinator habitats and boosting local biodiversity.
The company says the plant will be created in collaboration with ecology experts to restore and conserve pollinator habitats.
The solar farm is predicted to generate power for 2,600 homes in the region.
Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas for Lightsource bp, said: “The affordability of solar, combined with its generation of emissions-free electricity has made it an ideal source to add to our country’s energy mix.
“Adding on benefits such as community solar programs that help contribute to affordable housing, along with implementing long-term land management plans that enhance local biodiversity, are all ways that we can work together to multiply solar’s contribution to our nation’s economy and environment.”
Almost 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species, are dependent on pollinators, so declining populations are thought to have a negative impact on food systems worldwide.
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have found stable pollinator populations facilitated by pollinator-friendly solar farms allowed nearby agricultural land to be pollinated and boosted crop yields.