Silicon Ranch delivers clean, low-cost energy straight from the sun. And, through our Regenerative Energy® program, we’re committed to going beyond solar to restore soil health, ecosystems, and rural communities. We do this by using regenerative agriculture and other holistic practices at solar farms.

Regenerative Energy® is outcome-driven, not prescriptive. This means that the specific regenerative practices implemented will vary by project and over time, depending on local ecological conditions, land management goals, and project partner goals. The Regenerative Energy® Standard integrates the following practices, among others, that might be employed if appropriate to achieve a desired outcome:

Regenerative Energy® Practices Being Implemented in 2020

Adaptive Managed Grazing

Large flocks of sheep are managed deliberately at each site to meet various objectives. Typically, these flocks graze for short amounts of time in a particular area within the solar site, then move to new ground, allowing the land to rest, ungrazed, for adequate time to allow vegetation to recover. The timing, intensity, and frequency of grazing are controlled to mimic the natural relationship between native grasslands and large herds of grazing animals. The livestock feed on exclusively foraged food, without hormone implants or antibiotics.

Fertilization
Operations are fertilized using waste from animals and compost, without synthetic fertilizers.
Grassland Restoration
  • Land under solar modules restored to functioning grassland ecosystem using the appropriate regenerative ranching practices for achieving the desired outcomes.
  • Animal hooves puncture the surface of the soil, trampling in seeds and mulch in areas of minor erosion to increase water holding capacity of soil and decrease erosion.
Community Engagement
Engage with stakeholders through surveys and interviews to understand values and goals.

Other Regenerative Energy® Practices

Wetland Restoration
Wetlands inside and outside array fencing restored to functioning wetland ecosystems
Pollinator Habitat Creation
Areas inside solar array fencing planted specifically for pollinator habitat, often paired with commercial apiary (beekeeping) operations
Re-Forestation
  • Undeveloped land outside solar array fencing re-forested
  • Silvopasture (integrating trees, shrubs, forage plants, and livestock)
Endangered or Threatened Species Habitat Creation
Areas outside solar array fencing planted specifically for endangered or threatened species habitat
Additional (Stacked) Agricultural Enterprises
  • Pastured hogs
  • Pastured poultry
  • Apiary (beekeeping)
  • Regenerative cropping systems
  • Fruit orchards
Decarbonization of Vehicles and Equipment
Onsite vehicles and any mechanical vegetation management equipment powered with electricity
PV System Design and Site Construction
  • Holistic system design adopted
  • Holistic materials acquisition and management plan adopted
  • Minimal grading practiced
  • Minimal compaction practiced
  • Local labor used
  • Low-zero waste targeted
Animal Welfare
Animal welfare plan adopted
Solar Plant Decommissioning
  • Decommission plan adopted
  • Module recycling or reuse plan adopted