By Landon Chavis | Hazlehurst Post | July 21, 2021
Did you know that over the next decade, solar power plants are projected to exceed 6 million acres in size globally? Our local solar contributor, Silicon Ranch, is leading the way in holistic regenerative energy methods. Coming to a Solar Field near you may possibly be sheep or other grass-fed animals to maintain a healthy grassland environment beneath the acres of solar panels in Jeff Davis County. Sheep are naturally suited for the job. They enjoy the shade of the solar panels on hot days, napping and grazing where humans would struggle to reach. They are resourceful foragers, walking to search for vegetation that might otherwise become a shady nuisance for the solar company.
This method of ecosystem restoration can also lead to sequestering carbon, restoring healthy carbon-rich soils, increasing water quality, and enhancing biodiversity in the ecosystem. While these adorable sheep may be great for the environment, they also solve a major maintenance issue for solar fields.
Currently, every square acre beneath the solar panels and around border fences requires mowing, which can potentially cause a great deal of damage to the panels and cost quite a large sum in the heavy growing season. Let’s face it, farm incomes are down, the small family farms we once knew are struggling, but this “solar grazing” may be just the answer local farmers need to increase revenue and diversify their incomes.
Local Hired to Silicon Ranch
Lemuel Miller supports the solar sheep grazing program and development of the Regenerative Energy®️ Snipesville Ranch. Lem comes to Silicon Ranch with a wealth of experience managing livestock, from swine to cattle, beginning at the age of seven when he first raised and exhibited swine in regional livestock competitions.
This article was originally published in the Hazlehurst Post.