Case Study: Providence Solar Farm
Regenerative Energy® is critical to the management of Providence Solar Farm, as we aim to leave our land in better shape than we find it. Following construction, certain areas of the site struggled to establish vegetation. Erosion and associated runoff issues began to develop, issues that regenerative farming practices can help prevent and mitigate. Silicon Ranch partnered with Cabriejo Ranch to launch and deliver holistic land management practices at this 100+ acre project to restore and protect the land.
Regenerative Practices Used
- Holistic planned grazing
- Livestock fed exclusively forage
- No broadcast chemical pesticides or herbicides
- Animal impact, including trample mulching of hay to address erosion
- Acreage: 118
- Number of Sheep: 500 – 1500 sheep rotated periodically
- Project Size: 170,000+ modules
- Solar Capacity: 16 MWac
- Savory Institute Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV): Certified regenerative
The Mississippi Valley Loess Plain ecoregion consists of irregular plains, low rolling hills, and occasional bluffs that turn into smooth plains towards the Mississippi. This area is roughly an even mix of cropping, oak, and pine forests and pastureland.
Flourishing Biodiversity in Flora and Fauna
This site experienced an increase in vegetative cover and a greater diversity of plant species composition, as well as the creation of pollinator and ground-nesting bird habitat and quantifiable increases in fauna biodiversity, which include ant mounds, rabbits, meadowlarks, and red-tailed hawks.
“Transitioning from conventional land management practices to regenerative practices to establish and manage vegetation has been a game-changer at Providence. In fairly short order, the use of sheep and trample mulching have significantly decreased our erosion issues at the site, smoothing out erosion banks and replacing rocky, bare ground and gullies with vegetative cover.”
– Loran Shallenberger, Regenerative Energy® Project Manager