Lightsource bp Begins Work on California Pollinator Friendly Solar Farm

Lightsource bp has successfully closed on a USD 20 million financing package and mobilised construction on its Wildflower Solar project in California.

Lightsource bp, a global leader in solar development, has announced that it has successfully closed on a USD 20 million financing package and mobilised construction on its Wildflower Solar project located in Rio Linda, about 10 miles north of Sacramento, California.

All of the electricity generated by the 16.5MWdc/13MWac project, enough to power about 2,600 homes, will be purchased by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) through a long-term power contract. SMUD, one of the largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service providers in the US, has been recognized worldwide for its innovative leadership in sustainability.

SMUD will use the power purchased from Wildflower to support its Neighborhood SolarShares program that can provide solar to new housing developments through an off-site utility-scale solar project. The community solar program gives developers the ability to deliver the environmental benefits of solar power without having to install it on every rooftop.

“This program provides options to builders and a net benefit to potential homebuyers, all while providing clean power to our community. The state of California and the Sacramento region are facing an affordable housing crisis and our low-cost solar option provides a valuable tool to lower the construction costs of new homes while supporting carbon reduction goals,” said Arlen Orchard, SMUD CEO and General Manager.

The plan for Wildflower Solar will be to create a pollinator friendly solar farm, designed in collaboration with ecology experts to restore and conserve pollinator habitat. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have found that stable pollinator populations facilitated by pollinator-friendly solar farms allowed nearby agricultural land to be pollinated and, ultimately, boosted crop yields.

“The affordability of solar, combined with its generation of emissions free electricity has made it an ideal source to add to our country’s energy mix. Adding on benefits such as community solar programs that help contribute to affordable housing, along with implementing long-term land management plans that enhance local biodiversity, are all ways that we can work together to multiply solar’s contribution to our nation’s economy and environment,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of the Americas for Lightsource bp.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for