Case Study: Hattiesburg Solar Farm
The Hattiesburg Solar Farm was retrofitted to include Regenerative Energy® processes, including holistic planned sheep grazing, also referred to as adaptive multi-paddock sheep grazing.
Regenerative practices are now in place to improve the site’s poor drainage and build more organic matter in the soils, leading to more water infiltration and an improvement in the land’s overall health and vegetation. Regenerative Energy® partnered with Cabriejo Ranch to launch and deliver holistic land management practices at this project while restoring the land to a functioning grassland ecosystem.
This retrofit was developed concurrently with Regenerative Energy®’s development of the Regenerative Energy® Solar Standard, contributing greatly to the understanding of how best to retrofit a solar project to accommodate the Regenerative Energy® process.
Regenerative Practices Used
- Holistic planned grazing
- Livestock fed exclusively forage
- No broadcast chemical pesticides or herbicides
- Tailored vegetation management to optimize pollinator and ground-nesting bird habitat creation while ensuring that solar panels are not shaded
- Acreage: 458
- Number of Sheep: 1,000 – 5,000
- Project Size: 195,000+ modules
- Solar Capacity: 50 MWac
- Savory Institute Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV): Land certified regenerative
Strong Improvements in Water Cycle and Biodiversity
Since the project’s completion, Regenerative Energy® has seen several positive land regeneration outcomes, such as an increase in healthy vegetation per square foot and increased plant and animal biodiversity—with a noticeable increase in bobcats, coyotes, deer, turkeys, songbirds, rabbits, snakes, butterflies, bees, praying mantis, stick bugs, and more. In addition, the water cycle has improved dramatically. In just two years, the land has benefitted exponentially from improved drainage, with more water infiltrating the soil, improving the ability to manage various technical tasks.
Social and Economic
In addition to meaningful environmental outcomes, Regenerative Energy® at Hattiesburg Solar Farm is catalyzing economic and social benefits. The project is providing our ranching partner with a new revenue stream and an opportunity for his children to participate in the family business, wages for a local land manager, and associated indirect (supply chain spending) and induced (household spending) wage impacts to the local economy.
“Silicon Ranch’s Hattiesburg Solar Farm was one of the first power plants to be retrofitted to accommodate Regenerative Energy® and holistic planned sheep grazing. We are amazed at how the land has responded and how the water cycle has changed for the better after only two years of regenerative land management practices.”
~Michael Baute, Director of Regenerative Energy and Land Management, Silicon Ranch Corporation