With Valentines Day coming up, this is the time of year when we turn our attention to flowers and the "birds and the bees." So we at Audubon Vermont think it's appropriate to applaud the recent introduction of H.726 which would establish a voluntary standard for pollinator-friendly habitat on solar electric generation sites.
"People love birds, plants love bees and other pollinators and our world could use a little more love in the form of clean energy. This bill brings it all together to create a voluntary program to recognize solar energy producers who are using their facilities to create more habitat for the birds and the bees. What's not to love?" says Jim Shallow, Audubon Vermont's Managing Director.
The shift to clean and renewable energy is critical for addressing the biggest threat to Vermont birds: climate change. If sited properly and landscaped with birds and pollinators in mind, solar facilities can also provide habitat and food for birds.
Audubon Vermont has teamed up with renewable energy partners, pollinator advocates, and the University of Vermont to develop a pollinator scorecard for solar developers to use to assess how well their site meets the needs of the bees and the birds. If passed, H.726 would allow solar producers to state that they are pollinator and bird friendly if the site meets the standards established by the scorecard. The program is entirely voluntary. However, to make the claim of providing beneficial habitat, a project's scorecard would have to be made available to the public. Currently, scorecards can be found at the UVM Extension website.
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