Posted: June 05, 2023

The increasing impact of climate change is compelling legislators at the local, state, and federal levels to explore alternative and sustainable solutions for various industries, including energy distribution and utilities. As a result, solar energy generation is gaining momentum. With more than 2,500 utility-scale solar electricity generating facilities in the U.S, the renewable energy resource is fast-growing.

With solar fields popping up across the U.S., a new concern has started to come into focus: managing the vegetation in and around solar fields to maintain aesthetics and achieve property goals.

Solar fields require vegetation maintenance solutions that address their unique needs and circumstances and are also efficient and cost-effective. Important considerations with solar vegetation management include:

  • Make a Plan and Stick with It – When solar field operations change hands often, less critical tasks like vegetation maintenance can lose priority. Creating a vegetation management plan at the beginning of the project can help keep maintenance goals consistent.
  • Consider Access Logistics First – Vegetation in solar fields can be managed through herbicide spraying, mowing or native plant seeding. Solar panels and associated infrastructure can become obstructions during vegetation maintenance, making equipment like mowers, sprayers, and seeders difficult to use. Low-profile, remotely controlled mowers and drone technology for spraying and seeding can help, but creating a vegetation management plan during the project’s development phase will make these challenges less likely.
  • Research Local Government Requirements – Some local government bodies may have a say in what vegetation can be planted and spell out how it is supposed to be maintained in a solar field. Screen plantings and pollinator habitats, for example, are common requirements for solar field installation. Becoming familiar with any planting requirements during installation can help avoid any hiccups in long-term site management.
  • Pick the Right Vegetation Species – Certain types of vegetation can grow over solar panels, decreasing energy production while also making mowing, trimming, or spraying difficult. Being mindful of plant species during selection and choosing types with slower growth for a solar field can help mitigate troublesome overgrowth.

Get Ahead Of The Learning Curve

With solar energy generation’s rising popularity and solar farm construction expected to increase over time, being aware of vegetation management needs can help keep projects on track and within budget. Davey Resource Group (DRG) can help solar clients create land management plans, plant screens and pollinator species, and maintain the vegetation to keep the sustainable energy powerhouse performing day in and day out.

To learn more about DRG’s solar vegetation management capabilities, contact your local DRG office.

Mitigation Wetlands
Mitigation Wetlands

Partner With Davey Resource Group For Your Next Project

With local offices across the country, our team of experts can provide the guidance, analysis, and quality service you need to manage the natural resources on your property. From wetlands and streams to stormwater management and tree inventories, we offer turn-key solutions for clients nationwide.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!