New York State’s First ‘Pollinator-Friendly’ Solar Farm Buzzing With Activity

New York State’s First ‘Pollinator-Friendly’ Solar Farm Buzzing With Activity

September 1, 2018

What’s better than a solar farm creating clean energy for New Yorkers? A solar farm creating clean energy for New Yorkers that also helps pollinating insects.

Cypress Creek Renewables and the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services in upstate New York recently announced the completion of what they’re calling New York State’s first “pollinator-friendly” community solar farm, called Jefferson Solar. Flush with wildflowers and native plants that attract bees, hummingbirds and other beneficial insects, the solar farm was designed to encourage more robust crop yields at local farms.

Jefferson Solar, located on the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES campus in the Town of Watertown, about 70 miles north of Syracuse, generated nearly $2 million in local investment, according to Cyprus Creek Renewables. It’s currently supplying power for the school and community and has already resulted in more than $50,000 in savings, according to Stephen Todd, district superintendent for Jefferson-Lewis BOCES. The school district plans to incorporate the solar farm into its curriculum for vocational students to teach them about the clean-tech sector.

The project received funding from NY-Sun, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion renewable-energy initiative. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) administered the project.

Why All The Buzz About Bees?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one mouthful in three of the foods you we eat depends on pollination by honeybees, representing a $15 billion-plus value to U.S. agriculture annually. Bee populations have suffered in recent years, alarming environmentalists and imperiling crops nationwide.


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