The approximately 200 South American breed of sheep used for the vegetative management of the solar farm help accomplish these goals in a variety of ways. The sheep are busy mowing down tall grass that poses a fire danger to our campus community as well as to the system. These same weeds and grasses threaten valuable production if they grow so tall as to shade the panels from the power of the sun. Sheep are also an environmentally sustainable option and are much preferred to using weed abatement techniques such as plastic tarps or herbicides, which could negatively impact the quantity and quality of storm water flows into local streams and waterways. Simply mowing the site comes with its own set of human and system safety risks as well as environmental impacts. These too are avoided by utilizing sheep for the operation.
|Undergrowth before sheep|
|Undergrowth after sheep|
“Utilizing sheep for vegetative management of the solar farm is a truly sustainable solution… we are addressing the key components of ecology, equity and economy by leveraging this innovative technique” notes Joe Fullerton, Energy and Sustainability Manager for the District.