‘Smart Sighting’ in green energy development is important


Transitioning to clean energy is not as easy as switching from fossil fuels to renewables. Without proper planning, the rapid renewable energy build-up we urgently need may be inadequate for climate, biodiversity and communities.

To meet the goal of 50% of our energy coming from renewable sources by 2040, more solar and wind farms are dotted across the state of Prairie, thus helping people and nature. It is important to carefully consider where your site will be developed and how it will be managed in order to maximize your profits.

Choosing low-impact sites to minimize environmental impact Smart sites are the most effective way to reduce harmful impacts on nature.

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new guidance Created by The Nature Conservancy and Pollinator Partnership for Illinois, it recommends avoiding new construction in natural habitat or where it could adversely affect vulnerable or endangered species. Prioritizing the development of rooftops, parking lots, abandoned mining sites, idle industrial areas, etc. helps maintain healthy ecosystems and convert land in productive ways. Developers can also take advantage of incentives such as: Illinois Coal-to-Solar Program or new federal tax credit Development of renewable energy within regions dependent on brownfield or fossil fuel industries.

When solar farms are built with native prairie plantings, they support pollinators like monarch butterflies, improve soil and water quality, and increase carbon sequestration. Solar developers can even reduce maintenance costs in the long run by reducing the need for frequent mowing. You can request that human-friendly habitat be planted.

If counties across the state take advantage of this opportunity, solar power will support pollinators, improve soil and water quality, and help restore some of Illinois’ once-extensive grasslands to native land. The more we build our solar with nature in mind, the better the results for biodiversity and people across the state.

to avoid the worst Impact of climate change, especially in frontline communities, urgent action must be taken to reduce carbon pollution with more renewable energy. Given the 20- to 30-year lifespan of new wind and solar farms, the decisions we make today about where to build and how to manage new sites will impact the future. It will have a lasting impact on generations.

Michelle Carr, Illinois Director, The Nature Conservancy


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Written by Natalia Chi

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