Celebrating Earth Day 2022!
Here are 6 ways Lightsource bp invests in the planet through solar projects
Earth day is a time to reflect on how we live on our planet and act to reduce the impact that we have on the world around us.
The theme this year is ‘Invest in our planet’, it’s clear to all of us here at Lightsource bp that what we do in our daily work is indeed an investment in our planet – helping to create a more sustainable future through low-carbon energy projects. Our 25GW by 2025 target is a testament to this, yet there is much more to do.
Our projects are providing much more than clean, green electricity, let’s not forget the many other benefits.
1) SPAIN: Lesser Kestrel breeding tower and releasing programme
In Spain we have teamed up with NGO DEMA, in collaboration with the Government of Aragon to help protect the endangered Lesser Kestrel, a small migratory falcon that spends winter in Africa and returns to the Iberian Peninsula in Spring to nest in residential roofing’s and other buildings.
The Falcons are under threat because intensive farming practices are damaging the ecosystems, they traditionally relied on for food The knock-on effects of intensive agriculture send shockwaves through the ecosystems leading to a decline in insects, lizards and small rodents.
Our partnership with DEMA will lead to the successful breeding and release of over 150 Lesser Kestrels over 4 years – the first cohort of 50 Falcons will be released this summer!
2) GLOBAL: Creating opportunities for dual land-use
Our projects provide conservation and agricultural opportunities by maximising land use.
3) USA: Sinking carbon
Our innovative team in the US have come up with a nature-based solution to lock carbon up within two sites in Colorado growing over 3,000 acres of shortgrass prairie. The team, in partnership with ecosystem consultants designed site specific seed mixes adapted to the local ecosystem. The mix, containing staple short grasses like western wheatgrass, buffalo grass and little bluestem as well as a low concentration of purple prairie clover to provide nectar for pollinating insects, will help store carbon in the soils.
The bespoke mix will stabilise the environment and reduce the likelihood of invasive species taking over the ecosystem. Throughout the lifecycle of the various plants, carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere to build new plant matter, with prairie grass storing a considerable amount in the roots – locking it up underground.
The passive nature of solar farms makes them the ideal place for carbon sequestration to take place with the continuous growth cycles of generations of plants throughout the decadal lifecycle of the solar farm.
The grass will also provide a habitat for prairie dogs and pollinators.
4) USA: Blooming Bluebonnets
The Bluebonnets are blooming at our Texas projects, Elm Branch and Briar Creek. Not only a state flower, but also a source of pollen for native bee species.
5) AUSTRALIA: Woolooga Koala and Grey-headed flying foxes in Queensland
In Queensland Australia a 210MWp solar project has been chosen to house a conservation area for Koala’s and Grey-headed Flying Foxes. Through the expansion and improvement of current vegetation within the conservation area, Lightsource bp is creating a thriving habitat for these iconic species.
The 494-acre site will be managed for a minimum of five years, with over 43,000 new trees being planted, which will also help lock up additional carbon whilst offering a refuge for the two species.
6) UK: Helping bees thrive
Across the UK we have planted meadows of wildflowers to help bee’s and other pollinators thrive, boosting the local ecosystem.
We carefully select sites to ensure that the bee’s and the local ecosystems are a suitable match for one another and do not cause unintended harm. We are also working in partnership with local beekeepers to enable honey production locally.
These are just a few of the initiative we have on our sites that are helping local ecosystems thrive, in turn helping the planet – Lightsource bp Biodiversity Brochure
To find out more about Earth Day take a look here – Earth Day 2022 | Invest in Our Planet™
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