Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Play

Postal unions fight for higher standards of service, a proposed high-speed rail line could make a N.Y.-D.C. trip just an hour, and a study finds oilfield gas flares are more harmful than had been thought.

Play

The FBI says China and Russia are sowing election integrity disinformation, President Biden commits $60 million to help Puerto Rico, and New York City's mayor is bewildered by the silence over the migrant crisis.

Play

Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

Permeable Fencing Helps Make NC Solar Farms Wildlife-Friendly

Play

Wednesday, May 15, 2019   

DURHAM, N.C. - Permeable fencing could help make solar-energy facilities in North Carolina more wildlife-friendly.

The Nature Conservancy, along with the North Carolina Pollinator Conservation Alliance and other groups, has teamed up with solar companies to figure out how to better integrate solar farms into the landscape. Around 40,000 acres of land in the state are being used to harvest solar energy, a number that is expected to increase. On these sites, hundreds of solar panels generate electricity that's fed into a grid, supplying consumers with clean energy.

"We identified that there are a bunch of practices out there that could be applied to solar farms, so people could install things like this wildlife-permeable fence, which is a fence with larger holes in it than a traditional chain-link fence," said Liz Kalies, director of science at the Nature Conservancy's North Carolina chapter. "The idea is that it allows for small- to medium-sized animals to move freely through the fence."

Charlotte-based developer Birdseye Renewable Energy was the first to install permeable fencing at one of its facilities in Tennessee. Footage from motion-sensitive cameras revealed that raccoons, rabbits and other critters are able to move safely through the fencing. Based on this evidence, Pine Gate Renewables in Asheville installed permeable fencing at sites in Johnston and Moore counties. North Carolina is a leader nationwide in solar-energy capacity, along with California and Arizona.

Kalies said the solar farms where the permeable fencing is installed are located near dense forests that are home to diverse wildlife populations. She said she hopes the fencing will catch on as a tool to ensure that animals don't get squeezed out of their habitats.

"We're going to be putting in more and more solar farms and, at some point, that amount of habitat removal, that amount of habitat loss, is going to matter," she said. "We don't know what that number is, and so we need to start preparing for it and mitigating against it."

As the need for clean-energy solutions increases, Kalies pointed out that permeable fencing, along with other techniques such as planting pollinator vegetation, could help balance out the environmental impact of solar farms.

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The Environmental Defense Fund estimates methane emissions account for at least 25% of global warming. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

A new study found gas flaring in oil-producing states like North Dakota is not as effective in limiting harmful emissions when compared to long-standi…


Social Issues

Community and technical college faculty members are preparing for the legislative session in Olympia, and among the top priorities for the American …

Social Issues

The Holyoke area is home to many Puerto Rican families who say they will do what they can to help people there as they recover from the latest hurrica…


In recent years, a range of studies and reports show Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation, including in the areas of homeownership and education. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

On the heels of a regional conference, multiple groups are working on new solutions for reducing the poverty gap in Minnesota. Nonprofits, …

Social Issues

The pandemic took a toll on the nursing profession, resulting in shortages across the nation and especially Texas, ranked the second-hardest-hit …

Social Issues

Advocates for a man wrongfully imprisoned for decades due to misconduct by a Durham Police detective and released in 2016, want the city to honor a …

Social Issues

Groups fighting hunger in California say untold suffering could be avoided if the policies championed at the latest White House conference are put int…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021