Presentation Description: Solar energy development continues to grow at a very fast pace throughout the US. In light of this rapid amount of development, site selection and infrastructure siting for project areas are important considerations to avoid and reduce impacts to natural resources. We provide three case studies illustrating technology and analytic approaches to siting of solar facilities. The first case includes the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS’s) for mapping important wildlife habitat (e.g. prairie dog burrow mapping) and for project layout development. The second example describes approaches using big game telemetry data and associated statistical analysis techniques to help understand and potentially resolve siting challenges between big game migration and solar energy in southwestern WY. The third case study involves the value of incorporating effective statistical sampling strategies to map and estimate densities of sensitive plant species for both projects and potential mitigation sites. All three case studies emphasize the need for incorporating good siting principles to help minimize impacts and costs associated with solar development.
Upon completion, participants will be able to define several key wildlife siting and infrastructure challenges with large scale solar energy.
Upon completion, participants will be able to describe some innovation technology based tools to help with siting challenges and solar.
Upon completion, participants will be able to define resources and approaches available to help resolve solar siting challenges.