The weather may be cooling off, but things are really heating up at our Wood County Solar Project. Here’s an update on what’s going on with construction, and some exciting news for pollinators in the area.
Building the future
The Wood County Solar Project is expected to be generating energy by the end of 2022, and construction is well underway.
- The onsite civil work, such as creating access roads, retaining ponds, and site grading, is nearly complete. With much of the project site already prepared, construction work continues. Pilings, the metal columns which anchor the solar array structures to the ground, are currently being installed. As pilings are placed, crews have begun installing the racking systems which will support the solar panels.
- Construction of deer fencing around the project site is also underway. In addition to its functionality, this fencing will provide a natural esthetic look.
- Project work on the utility substations has also begun. Once completed, these substations will connect the solar arrays to the main electric grid and ensure that the clean energy generated by these panels is ready and available for use at the flip of a switch.
A housewarming gift for our pollinator neighbors
When it comes to our Clean Energy Vision, our goal is to leave the environment we share with our communities healthier than we found it. Supporting a diverse, pollinator-friendly habitat that builds soil nutrients and strengthens local wildlife is just one of the ways we’re meeting that goal. At many of our solar sites across the state, we plant native grass and seed mixes throughout and around solar arrays. The Wood County Solar Project site utilizes a specially-selected mix of grass and seed varieties to promote a safe and healthy environment for the bees, butterflies, moths and other beneficial wildlife populations who also call Wood County home. The low-growth grass mix also reduces the need for frequent mowing and maintenance.
Pollinator-friendly vegetation has been proven to prevent soil erosion, improve water quality, and decrease operating and maintenance costs. Additionally, a recent study by Yale University found that pollinator-friendly habitats can result in higher energy output from panel efficiency gains attributed to the cooler microclimate created by perennial plantings. All of these benefits help to create a more sustainable, reliable and environmentally-friendly energy future.