Navisun finishes 2 solar plants; starts Pollinator Program in Massachusetts

Navisun finishes 2 solar plants; starts Pollinator Program in Massachusetts

Solar independent power producer Navisun LLC announced yesterday that it has completed two solar projects in Orange and Sheffield for a total of 3.8 MW of solar power, enough to power 600 homes with renewable energy. These plants are also one of the first solar projects in Massachusetts to be awarded the new pollinator adder through the Massachusetts’ SMART Program.

University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst Clean Energy Extension awarded the solar firm Pollinator-Friendly Certificates, which helped these two solar projects to fulfil the criteria for the Massachusetts SMART pollinator adder and become a certified pollinator-friendly facility. The requirements of the award dictate that site grounds must be prepared and maintained to promote native meadow habitats under and around solar panels, native flowering herbs and shrubs must be planted, use of insecticide or fungicide should cease, bee nesting habitats must be maintained, and safe passageways ought to be provided along with project fencing for small wildlife. Navisun is one of the first companies to apply for and receive the recent adder to the Massachusetts SMART Program.

Speaking about the matter, John Malloy, managing partner and co-founder of Navisun, said, “Developing pollinator-friendly habitats is one more way Navisun demonstrates its conscientious commitment to the environment and land stewardship. They are part of our underlying commitment to farmers, landowners, and the communities we serve, and we’re pleased to formalize our pollinator program.”

Through these projects, the company gained pollinator-friendly expertise, which can be used to create pollinator habitats in its future solar projects wherever possible. Navisun worked closely with expert ecologists to initiate its new pollinator program and put efforts towards reversing the loss of essential pollinator habitats and supporting greater food security. It is well known that  environmental stressors, such as land development and pesticides, have led to the number of bee colonies per hectare being reduced by 90% since 1962 among U.S. crops that require bee pollination. The issue’s urgency only increases if one considers that insects such as bees and butterflies are responsible for pollinating around 75% of all crops used for human consumption.

Project partner and Chairwoman of the Sheffield municipal government’s Board of Selectmen Rene Wood was quoted as saying, “Speaking as a private citizen and Sheffield’s Select Board Chair, I am delighted this award has been given to Navisun for pollinator-friendly actions at their Home Road solar array. Sheffield is a Right-to-Farm community; In 2020, the Board adopted a pollinator-friendly policy to support the Agricultural Commission and residents. This award furthers our town-wide efforts and recognizes the critical role pollinators hold in our food production and well-being.”

Navisun LLC is a solar independent power producer that co-develops, acquires, owns, and operates distributed and small utility-scale solar projects.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.