Presentation Description: Ground-mounted photovoltaic solar is similar to corporate campuses, parks, and private land holdings in that they all require regular vegetation management. At solar facilities, some approaches in vegetation management can contribute to sustainability metrics such as biodiversity, pollination services, soil health, or watershed enhancement. Attaining sustainability requires achieving measurable standards through a carefully executed project life-cycle plan. In this presentation, we will present a life-cycle financing framework that identifies the key cost factors in meeting sustainability goals from project siting all the way through decommissioning. This framework will illustrate the relative magnitude of costs at each project stage, early and interim measurements of sustainability, and future cost implications of potential inadvertent omissions in vegetation management to consider.
Vegetation management at solar facilities, whether it is included in sustainability reporting or not, involves a living system that can benefit from input from trained professionals throughout the project life-cycle. Cost savings and better outcomes can be achieved by distinctly planning for vegetation management. We will illustrate the professional requirements and a process for administering successful vegetation management in parallel but separate from engineering and construction tasks.
Upon completion, participants will be able to illustrate the stages of vegetation restoration in the context of the life span of a solar PV project. Participants will be able to annotate the illustration with the timeframe, relative cost, and personnel each stage. Participants will be able to utilize the illustration while developing project financing and contracts for assurances on adequate resources and binding outcomes of contracted work performed.
Upon completion, participants will be aware of the science and practice of ecological restoration, key issues in grassland restoration at solar PV locations in eastern and western North America, international standards for seed-based restoration, and resource directory of certified practitioners. Participants will be able to explain the importance of incorporating the science and practice into the stages of a specific project timeline.
Upon completion, participants will be able to list and generally define the regulatory and non-regulatory drivers for vegetation sustainability metrics. Participants will be able to identify the governmental and nongovernmental entities and policies for the drivers, the difference between a regulatory constraint and incentive, and environmental credit markets potentially available for a specific project.