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As a renewable energy development company, Distributed Sun is proud to contribute to improving the energy system by decreasing the emissions impact of every incremental megawatt to come onto our local electricity grids. All our electricity is emissions-free, and for all our projects, we ensure that stormwater flow quantity and quality are maintained at our sites.
However, as a new technology (at least in the eyes of many of the rural communities in which we work), we often get the question of “how will your solar array affect long-term land use changes?” Of course, we are leading with many of the best management practices from concrete-free racking foundations to pollinator-friendly grasses to forward-thinking decommissioning plans. With modular equipment and a lack of moving pieces, we can plan for a much lower impact on the implementation of civil works.
On this Earth Day 2021, we are proud to add that we can safely support and co-exist with endangered species. We have recently coordinated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on a Net Conservation Benefit Plan to preserve habitat of the New-York-State-listed short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)!
At one of our project sites in Upstate New York, our team discovered 35-year-old reference to the short-eared owl breeding in the area. In order to responsibly continue on this project, we engaged with qualified environmental consultants who visited the site and confirmed the presence of this beautiful bird. As this raptor, like many other species, is finding challenges in segmented habitat, we drove our stakeholders (the project, the NYSDEC, and the landowner) to find a mutually agreeable solution.
NYSDEC wanted to ensure that the owl could have pristine, preserved habitat to help its owlets survive the challenges of ground nesting. Our landowner agreed to help and set aside land with the caveat that he wished to continue his family’s hunting on the property, as it has always been. In an inclusive process, Distributed Sun engaged the parties and found the happy medium – a permit was issued and the project will go into construction this spring.
So please connect if you want to learn more about how we can help keep the skies clear and the land safe for our species of concern.