Land management & conservation practices provide options for ag and solar integration - Conservation Cover in Solar Energy Sites

March 8, 2022

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This program includes three presentations describing each practice and how it can be implemented in Michigan.

    Pollinator Habitat in Solar Energy Sites
    Conservation Cover in Solar Energy Sites
    Agrivoltaics - the Future of Farming?

'Dual use' is the integration of solar modules in an agricultural system in a way that enhances?a?productive, multifunctional landscape. This low-impact?energy system employs one or more of the following land management and conservation practices throughout the project site:

    Pollinator Habitat: Solar sites designed to provide habitat for pollinating insects using the Michigan Pollinator Habitat Planning Scorecard for Solar Sites.
    Conservation Cover: Solar sites designed in consultation with conservation organizations that focus on restoring native plants, grasses, and prairie with the aim of protecting specific species (e.g. bird habitat) or providing specific ecosystem services (e.g. carbon sequestration, soil health).
    Agrivoltaics: Solar sites that combine raising crops for food,fiber, or fuel within the project area to maximize land use.

Video Transcript

 - Well, I wanna welcome each of you here this afternoon to this presentation on using Conservation Cover in solar projects, and hope that we have is a really good discussion here. Hope that I can answer some questions and spur more questions for that matter. My name is Charles Gould, and I'm with Michigan State University Extension in Ottawa County. I have statewide responsibility for agricultural energy efficiency and renewable energy. In other words, what I do is work with farmers who are interested in solar or wind or other types of renewable energy, and then also work with them on energy conservation issues. And I don't think it makes any sense for us to talk about renewable energy if we're not engaging in energy efficiency first. So, you know, when I make farm visits, that's the conversation that I have. Let's conserve energy, let's replace those energy inefficient, pumps and motors and whatever fans with energy efficiency or any energy replacements. And then let's talk about renewable energy. So I wanna start here because this guidebook is really the foundation of what I'm gonna be talking about today. It was the Planning & Zoning for Solar Energy Systems guide for Michigan local governments was developed out of a need that arose from communities, looking for help in designing solar systems. Over the last several years, a lot of solar companies have been canvasing the state, looking for land owners who want to put solar projects on. That brought interaction with local units of government who either had or didn't have zoning ordinances that governed how solar energy systems should be put put in. So there was a team of us that got together, myself and other colleagues from Michigan State University Extension, colleagues from the University of Michigan Graham Sustainable Institute, and then other colleagues from Michigan State University School of Planning Design in Construction. And so with this expertise, we put together this guidebook. It's really written for local planners, officials, legal counsel and policy makers within the state of Michigan. And if there's anyone on this, in the Zoom meeting here that does not have a copy of this, or is not familiar with it, I would invite you to download it. It's free, there's a ton of great information in there that will help local units of government as well as the citizen. You know, the regular citizen understand what needs to happen in order to get zoning ordinances that help put solar energy systems where we want them. So in the guidebook, we start, this is our launching point, the community master plan. Communities sometimes zoned first and they plan second. And what we really need to do is reverse that where we plan first, and then we zone second. So we start with a community master plan where that plan provides details on how a solar energy system fits within the unique landscapes and characteristics of whatever jurisdiction that you know, that is. And so that master plan should really tie into the goals that the community has. And if it doesn't then, you know, there's a real disconnect there, and that master plan should probably be amended to reflect the community goals as it relates to solar energy systems. So some of those goals could be resiliency, you know, climate change and economic development, farmland preservation, energy generation. There's a lot of goals that a community can have for a solar energy system. But what we're saying is, is that that needs to be reflected in the master plan. The master plan should be the engine that governs zoning. Zoning shouldn't be the engine that drives the master plan. All right, so with that in mind, if we have a master plan that meets the goals of the community and it's clear, and really that's what solar developers want, they wanna know what parameters they have to operate in. So a master plan that's clear in those kinds of objectives, then solar developers are able to come in and operate within the parameters of that master plan. So once that plan is developed then the zoning ordinances can be configured such that the type of solar energy system that the community wants, if supports their goals can actually happen. That's the way that it's supposed to occur. So zoning regulations protect, you know, in general zoning regulations protect the health, safety, welfare and, of communities, right? Okay, so you've got your master plan, you've got your zoning ordinances and you want agriculture. All right, and so what we're proposing is this concept of dual use. And dual use simply means that we have a solar energy system that sits on a piece of land that is just not growing solar energy system. In other words, there's other uses for that land that have economic, societal, and environmental value to it. And we suggest in the guide that there's four. There's four land management and conservation practices that can be implemented, that in increase the value of a solar energy system. Agrivoltaics, grazing and forage, pollinator habitat, and conservation cover. So I'm gonna briefly cover those first three bullet points and then do a deeper dive into conservation cover. So what do I mean by agrivoltaics? Well, agrivoltaics is simply raising food fiber and fuel crops under and around those solar rays. So in the figure that you see there, one example of Agrivoltaics is vegetable production. So we plant vegetables underneath the solar rays, and what we find is that, that those plants that are grown underneath solar rays need less water and they cool the back of solar panels, so that the solar panels actually become more efficient. Cooler solar panels are able to capture more energy from the sun. So what does this look like? Okay, well, here's an example. There's a really cool place, and you can Google, Jack's Solar Farm. They've got a really nice website and they do an excellent job of explaining how this concept of Agrivoltaics really works. And here's a picture from their site. And you can see that, you know, they're growing vegetables underneath the solar rays, there's folks out there that are harvesting. And it's a really, really functional and good system. This is the one that really gets me fired up. I'm an ag guy. I grew up on a dairy farm in the State of Wyoming. And so livestock have always been near and dear to my heart. And what, the concept here is, is that rather than bringing a mower in to mow the grass that grows in a solar site, let's bring livestock in. Let's use that piece of ground. Let's graze sheep there, or let's graze cattle there, and let's use them to keep the grass down. Well, there's some nuances about that, and that's for a later time and later discussion here, but I wanna focus your attention on this picture, and hopefully it's big enough on your screen. So in the aisle here between the two sections of rays, you can see a fence and then further on in the distance, you can see some sheep. Well, this picture was taken in Wyoming County here, this past summer. We held a pasture, what we call a pasture walk. And this site happens to be on Herbruck's Organic Poultry Farm, which is on Grand River Avenue in Wyoming County. And so this is, I think an a 10 acre site, and there's 11 ewes out there. And looking at the height of the forages that are out there, they've done a nice job of keeping the grass down. So it doesn't shade the solar rays, the bottom of the solar rays out. And I wanted to show you this because this illustrates the effectiveness of sheep in managing forages. So this picture was taken when we, well, it was actually taken about a week before we had the pasture walk. So six weeks prior to when I had taken this picture, I was at the site. And the ewes had been put in, but had not got to this part. This is the back. This is the north end of the solar site. And this particular picture, six weeks before I took it, had lambs quarter above my waist and June grass that was at least if it wasn't to my calf, it was at least to my knee. So it was like a jungle back there. And what the sheep did is they came in and they nibbled off the leaves of the lambs quarter. So there were just stems there. And then they would lay on the stems. And what you see here is the effect of the sheep grazing on the lambs quarter and the grass, the grasses that were there. And as you can see, they did a remarkable job of keeping the lambs quarter and the grass under control. Pollinator habitat. Now, the bullet points that you see here are taken from the requirements if a solar site is put on, land that's enrolled in farmland preservation. We commonly call that PA 116. But what is good for PA 116 is also good for land that's not enrolled in PA 116. And so these four bullet points still apply to any type of land that, where a pollinator habitat would fit. So the pollinator habitat has to score at least 76 on the Michigan Pollinator Habitat Planning Scorecard for Solar Sites. And you can just Google, Michigan Scorecard, and the scorecard should come right up. The pollinator habitat should allow for replanting when the usable life of the pollinator habitat expires. So this gets into the maintenance piece, which we're working on right at this point. That's kind of the weak link right now in pollinator habitat establishment. So ground cover is to be established and maintain. And then any part of that solar site that is not in pollinator habitat should be put in at least at a minimum standard 327, the Natural Resources Conservation Service Standard 327. So, the whole site has vegetation on it and is able to, you know, keep soil in place and things like that. Okay, so here's what we wanna spend the remainder of the time that we have together on, and that's conservation cover. So really conservation cover is a two fold type practice where the plants that are put in have specific purposes. One could be protecting specific species like a bird habitat, or providing specific ecosystem services like carbon sequestration and soil health. So there are conservation organizations out there that have this kind of expertise. And so what we're suggesting is, is that we team up with Pheasants Forever or other types of, you know, conservation groups, and we work on this together. So I wanted to share a study that was just released here that really, I think, demonstrates the impact that an ecosystem service can have in a solar energy system. So what you're looking at here is, in this map are the 30 solar facilities that this study used, drew data from. And you can see here in Michigan that there were four solar sites that were part of this study. So in this paper, the researchers applied a modeling framework called invest to investigate the potential response of four ecosystem services, carbon storage, pollinator supply, sediment retention, and water retention, to native grassland habitation restoration at 30 facilities across the Midwest, as I mentioned. So just cutting to the chase because you can Google this, it's a paper that's publicly available. So you can Google it, you can read the results of this study, but the things that I wanna point out here is compared to pre solar ag land uses, solar native grassland habitat produce a threefold increase in pollinator supply and a 65% increase in carbon storage potential. Okay, so, and then you throw in the increases in sediment and water retention of over 95% and 19% respectively. I mean, this is some powerful data on the impact of a solar energy system that's designed to meet specific ecosystem services. So they applied these research results to project the potential benefits of adoption of native grassland management practices in current and future solar energies system build out scenarios. So, they used the data that they got as they studied these systems and then have extrapolated out. And here's the take home messages. Their study demonstrates how multifunctional land uses in agriculture dominated landscapes. They improve the provision of a variety of ecosystems services and improve the landscape capability of renewable energy and food production. All right. So because the service that comes from this particular ecosystem service is difficult to, you know, a crew to just a solar energy or another group of stakeholders. The take home message is that these values should be, are better considered as benefits to society as a whole. And I think that's a really important concept to remember because it's not, you know, our society today seems to be, you know, really, everybody's in it for themselves. And we are not looking out for our neighbors, generally speaking. And so when we put a solar project in like this, and we think about, you know, its benefit to society, I think in our, you know, as we develop zoning ordinances and we look at our master plans for those that are local government officials, I think this is something to keep in mind, 'cause it's not all about out money. It, you know, we have to consider the greater good. And then the last point here is that these findings may be used to build cooperative relationships between the solar industry and surrounding communities to better integrate solar energy into ag landscapes. Okay. Now, I really love this graphic here because it points out something that I think is real germane, whether we have conservation cover or whether we have pollinator habitat. On the left side of your screen or on, I guess depending, it's on the left side on my screen, you see turfgrass here. So the maximum root depth for turfgrass is three to six inches. I would ask you how much carbon sequestration occurs with turfgrass. How, you know, what kind of soil health benefits do we get from turfgrass as compared to the native grasses and forbs. So if you look, if you on the left is Kentucky blue grass, the next grass that you see is little blue stamp, then a little further on is blue blue grammar. And then you have Purple Prairie clover. Then you have June Grass. Then you have this lendric blazing star. That's the one with the really deep roots. Then you have Buffalo Grass and so on and so forth. Then you can see that the roots go deep. They hold the soil in place. They allow for water infiltration. I would suggest that one of the things that we need to consider when we put solar energy systems in is that we consider putting them in where we have recharge areas. We put these native grasses in that have these deep roots. They open up the soil, they allow the water to percolate down through the soil profile. They recharge aquifers. And you know, as I mentioned earlier, I live and work in Ottawa County and our aquifers are running dry, and you have to go pretty darn deep in order to get groundwater, good groundwater. Our recharge areas come from distant locations. And so if we were to benefit the citizen of Ottawa county, in terms of groundwater recharge, we could potentially put one of these solar energy systems in an area where that water could percolate down through, into those aquifers and, you know, nature does its thing and we end up with groundwater recharge. So for conservation cover, there's a couple of standards out there that I would invite you to look at. So the natural resource conservation service has Conservation Cover 327, which was mentioned earlier. They also have Prairies Strip practice standard CP43. And so I want to kind of share what my vision would be with a prairie strip. So from another study that was just recently done. They compared a prairie strip with buffer strips. Now on agriculture, buffer strips are used between a crop and a body of water. So it could be a lake, it could be a stream, crick, a drainage ditch that buffer strip is put in there to prevent things that we don't want leaving the crop to go into surface water. So what this study found when they did the comparison is they found in the prairie strip that there was increased bird abundance, increased number of flowers, increased flowering plant diversity, increased abundance of pollinators, increased honeybee production, and increased abundance of key natural enemies. And when you look at those two pictures, that stands the reason, and maybe some of you're saying, well, no duh. Well, this study quantifies in points out that, that there are benefits to spending the money to put a prairie strip in as opposed to a buffer strip. So if we were to liken this to a solar energy system, the buffer strip would be akin to putting in turfgrass. Whereas a prairie strip would be akin to putting in those deep rooted plants that hold the soil in place and slow the flow of water across the soil surface and allow it to percolate in. What was interesting about prairie strips is, all of these benefits came in spite of the farmer using herbicides and insecticides, including seeds that were treated with neonicotines. So, you know, the point is that just the tremendous benefits that can come when we think about how we want, when we think out the types of plants that we want in our solar energy systems. Now, some of these, some of these prairie plants are, are probably not going to go into a solar energy system because they grow too tall. For example, one of those plants, you can't see it there, but one of 'em is switch grass, and switch grass would, you know, switch grass will go five to six feet tall. So that's a plant that wouldn't be considered for growing under or in the rows between solar rays. But certainly other plants could. And I'll talk about that here in just a minute. Okay. So just, because these are native plants, they take their time in germinating. And so we wanna really set realistic expectations for conservation cover. So if we're gonna be successful, the first thing that we have to take a look at is, what does the soil look like in terms of like nitrogen phosphorus, potassium, pH. Is it a clay soil? Is it a loamy soil? What are the characteristics of the soil so that we can maximize our ability to grow a successful conservation cover crop? So we wanna take soil test. We wanna know what that soil type is. We can go to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, we can get soil maps. We can look and see what type of soil we have on this solar site. Every site is gonna be different. A solar energy site that's put in an Ottawa County is gonna have different soil types, different pHs. It, you know, management is gonna be different than one that's put in Oakland County or Washtenaw County or up in the UP. So they're all site specific but the success of having germination of these native species of plants is gonna, is directly correlated with the amount of time and an effort that you spend in making sure that the soil is prepped correctly. You just can't throw seeds down and expect them to germinate. So native plants take years to establish roots. There's a little old saying that says, year one at sleeps, year two at creeps, and year three at leaps. And you can see in the picture here, what a year one vegetation growth of Michigan solar project really looks like, okay. I mean, it looks ugly. And in year two, it's not gonna look much better, but year three, it's gonna look phenomenal. And so we have to manage expect when we put native plant species in these solar energy sites. And I think it would be it, you know, it'd be good, not only to, you know, manage expectations but, you know, bring people on site to actually show them. This is what year one looks like, and then take them back. This is what year two looks like, and then take them back, again this is what year three looks like. And we talked about maintenance a little earlier and really what the goal here is, is if we've done everything correctly upfront by year three, we have a great stand of native plants. And then our maintenance plan is we wanna make sure that year three planting that looks so good right now extends through year 25 or however long that lease agreement is. So to make this all happen, though, you know, doesn't happen magically. There's a lot of work that goes into it. So planning is really needed. And the planning should, when we're talking about planting native species, planning for them really needs to happen before the first pylons are put in, before that racking system goes up, because, you know, we want to give the, we wanna create as favorable environment for those native plants to germinate and get established as possible. And that takes, you know, thought and planning up front. So conversation and clear communication of expectations and outcomes before or construction really is critical. And that's just gonna, you know, the community is gonna love you when they see all the flowers in bloom, the PR from having a beautiful pollinator site, just a beautiful native planting site. However, that looks is, you know, you can't put a dollar value on that. And so I hope that I really, really helped you see the need for planning upfront before that first pylon is put down. So where do you go to get some resources here? MSU has some really, really good sites that you can go and get information about native plants and ecosystem services. The Michigan Pollinator Initiative has great information. The Planning & Zoning for Solar Energy Systems, guidebook that I mentioned up in the beginning is a, so is a wealth of information on how to plan and prepare for solar and agriculture. Information about PA 116, information about the, about grazing sheep in solar and energy systems. Prairie Strips. If you want more information about what prairie strips are and really what that entails, there's a website for that. And then Conservation Cover practice 327 as well. So in conclusion, we go back to the master plan. The dual use options are dictated by community's master plan and the zoning ordinances that are, that dictate what those options are, can include these dual used practices of conservation cover, grazing and forage, pollinator habitat, and agrivoltaics. Conservation cover should be designed to protect a, could be designed to protect specific species or provide specific ecosystem services. And to gain these benefits requires intentional planning and just want to make a point that it's real easy, because this is, you know, saving habitat and pollinator species and bees really tugs at people's heartstrings. And so they sometimes, you know, we can get carried away by saying, we're gonna do this, and in reality, it doesn't happen. And so I would just really strongly encourage those of you who have influence on how, or I would say influence on natural plants or native plants, excuse me, going in that you make sure that it's a legitimate site that what's going in is legitimate, and that you're not, you know, trying to pull a fast one on people. So if it's a conservation cover, if it's a pollinator habitat, you know, let's make sure that it actually is, and not something less than that. So I wanna point out the sponsors for Michigan Ag Ideas to Grow With. And evidently I have that slide to advance automatically, but we couldn't do this without all their support and just wanna express appreciation for them. MSU believes and practices justice for all. And here's my contact information. So I see that there's a number of, let's see. Stop sharing. So there's a number of questions here. All right. So Erica, I see your comment there about deep roots of white clover. Erica, so the buffer strip is to protect water from what's in the crops versus protecting crops from what's in the water. Yeah, so buffer strips are designed to, if there's, for example, phosphorus. We know the impact of phosphorus in surface water. So the buffer strips intercept that phosphorus and keep it from going into surface water. That's the purpose. All right, Julia ask, "Am I able to put the links in the chat?" I am. I could, is there anyone, any of those links in particular that you're looking for? I'll throw a, and actually, Tracy, I think that is something that you could do. You got access to this. Well, there's one. The prairie strips. I can do that. Okay. There's the prairie strips right there. Okay. Looks like I've answered all the questions. Okay, Stephanie says, "Aren't cows too rough with the solar panels?" I thought that's why they mainly used mainly used sheep. So I don't have a slide with me but, we have a farm. We have a cattle farm in Michigan here that has a smaller ray, and they, it's in the feedlot. And during the summer, the cows lay underneath it for shade. And the it's elevated. It's, I don't know, probably eight feet, I guess, maybe at its lowest point, but cows, you know, they'll rub on it, but they have not done anything to damage the, you know, the structure of the solar rays. So there was a study done, just recently the results were just released last month, actually from the university of Minnesota that looked at this, the university, if I remember correctly, it's the University of Minnesota's dairy farm they were using in the study and found no effects from elevated solar rays. Of course, it's all in the design. And the reason why we don't see more of them probably is because of cost. But as I had mentioned yesterday, even that is not a factor, even that shouldn't be the primary reason for not elevating solar or panels. So. Okay. What does everyone mean by clover? There are several plants that common name. So I guess what I was referring to was like red and Crimson and Alsike Clover. That's what I was referring to. And, let's see, Michelle, you were referring to another clover that, to be honest with you, I'm not as familiar with, so I guess that's where I was coming from really. All right, Theresa asks, "You mentioned sheep, how are small stature goats?" All right. So, (laughs) there, I have learned a lot about goats and I can't seem to sway people's minds on this, because the first thing that they think of is goats climb, and they do climb. But the thing that goats do is they eat just about anything. They'll eat things that sheep won't eat and they'll eat things that cattle won't eat. And that's the advantage of goats. So what I've learned is that are two types of goats, if you will. There are the climbing goats, and then there are goats that don't climb. And they have the same appetite for plants that sheep and livestock won't eat, or sheep and cattle won't eat. And they're about the same stature as sheep are, but I've not had anybody really, you know, latch onto that idea because the perception is that goats climb. So I'm taking a trip to Massachusetts in August, to look at solar energy systems throughout the state. What I'm hoping is is that I can visit a solar energy system that has goats. I can just seek first hand and talk with, you know, the farmer about what his experience has been with goats that don't climb. Okay, Anthony asks, if I have land and live in an area that has zoning for large solar rays installation. What is the process to initiate contact with power company to start up such project? Are there incentives? Do I have to invest in the install and infrastructure? I'm unclear as to how the process of getting an ag filled size ray set up. Okay, so if I, if I understand you correctly, you don't start with a power company unless, you know, you have the means and the connections to actually do the install. You're gonna start with a solar developer. And I guess I'm surprised that you haven't had a solar developer contact you yet. So the incentive comes when, so the incentive comes in a number of different ways. First of all, solar power or solar developers have to manage a site. So typically what they do is they'll mow. What we're learning is that the cost of mow and all its environmental implications that come on, and all the environmental implications that come with it are greater than bringing in sheep. The operation and maintenance costs for bringing in sheep are less than what it costs to mow. So the benefit to someone who is a sheep producer is that, you know, they don't just put their sheep out there for the benefit of forage management. Their a fee that goes along with that. So there's a contract that's signed between a solar developer and a sheep producer that says, the shepherd will be paid a certain amount of money based on per head of sheep or per acre, or however that arrangement is, so that the shepherd is paid for his time and effort. And so there's clear expectations there on forage management from the herd perspective. And so if, you know, if those things are not met, then you know, the farmer is not paid. In terms of a pollinator habitat, there's less operation and maintenance cost to that because you're putting, I mean, you still have to manage 'cause you don't want Automall coming in. You don't want the SAW coming in. You know, those kinds of things. So there's some management there. But the thought here is that when you have an ideal stand, that's doing what it's supposed to do, it's gonna shade the weeds out, which means less O&M costs. It's cheaper to go in and do spot removal of undesirable plants than it is to come in and have to mow everything. Because depending on the seed selection, the plant selection and everything, you'll have plants that go to seed and that's what you want. You want a perpetual native plant, you want perpetual native plants. So you always have, you know, your site covered by growing vegetation. So I hope I answered that question. Incentives. There's no incentives that I, there's no government incentives, no government loans. There's no, you know, there's no grant funding out there to put these projects in. It's strictly a business deal between, you know, those that want to implement the practice, the conservation practice or land management practice and the solar developer. Okay. So it looks like that's the questions that are in the chat box. You can either type another question in, or you can unmute yourself and ask your question in person if you'd like. And we've got a small enough number that I think you can unmute yourself if you'd like. Roger, go ahead. - [Roger] Well, I was gonna tell Anthony that we were approached by the solar company and they contacted all the neighbors. Also, we have 130 acre farm and they're trying to get a large lease and they're leasing it for X amount of dollars. They want a 25 year lease on the land with like a two, five year extension. So it's a total of like a 30, could be a 35 year lease. So that's how they approached us with that. They paid so much. We would sign the paper like right now and doesn't go through, there's like a clause where I think they were gonna pay us $40 a year just to tie up the land, you know, so they have a right to it, but we know there's other solar rays, I'm down in, right in Northern Ohio, there's another one that they have a lease for a square mile and we heard they were paying quite a bit more up there, but there's a lot of leases going on Northwest Ohio, lot of companies. - Yeah. So I thank you Roger for bringing that up because that's one thing that we have as a resource for anyone who has been approached by a solar developer. We had hired an attorney here in extension a number of years ago, and we put together a document, a bulletin rather that will take you step by step through a solar lease agreement and really walk you through the things that you need to pay attention to. So if you're interested in that, I can certainly email that to you. It is on one of our MSU websites, but I don't have that available to me right now, or I'd put it in the chat box. And Roger, you bring up another point that I wanted to emphasize here or bring out, those of you are farmers know that carbon credits are being monetized. And so, you know, you were talking earlier. It was Anthony I think is who asked about incentives. So as I've been reviewing lease agreements and talking with farmers, I have been encouraging them to include something in that lease agreement that says, if they are able to monetize the carbon credits in that piece of land that those dollar go to the farm. They don't go to the solar developer. So, you know, you're gonna be in a lease agreement for 25 years. There's gonna be a heck of a lot of carbon that's gonna be sequestered underneath and around those solar rays. So why not try to capture that as another source of income onto the farm? So just throw that out there for consideration. Okay, any other questions? You know, type 'em in to the chat box or unmute yourself. - [Melanie] You talked a little bit about beekeepers yesterday. Can you expand on that? Or is that Thursday's talk? - No, Thursday's talk, I might touch on it just a little bit, but this would be a good time to do that. So Melanie, gimme a little bit more of what you're looking for here in terms of beekeeping and beekeepers. - [Melanie] So yesterday you had kind of mentioned that beekeepers could come in and set up around the perimeter, that it would help for the habitat, the pollinator and the neighboring farms. So just wondering like the studies that they've done and some of the projects that are happening. Is that happening or is that something that want to happen? - So it is happening, and in fact, I would encourage you to Google Solar-rama. Solar-rama is a beer, a kind of this specialty beer that has been developed and made out of solar produced honey. I mean, it's a really cool concept. And so in Minnesota, there are quite a number of solar energy sites that have been put in with, with beekeepers on the outside. And so there was a brewery who took this honey and developed this, and I'm not a beer drinker. So I apologize here. I dunno, an IPF. Does that sound like something an IPB or IPF or something like that? But I evidently it was pretty phenomenal beer. And so, you know, that's one of those things that I'm hoping that could be, you know, could be an outgrowth of beekeeper setting up shop outside these solar rays. Katie and Cyrus. She goes by Katie, is with us. And she is familiar with some of these types of projects. I wonder if I could prevail on her to add a little bit of content. And Katie, if you can't, I understand. - [Katie] Yeah, I don't actually know of any specific sites myself, but there is, so for some developers, there's the concern of like increased stings to their employees. So like the prevalence of hives on sites will probably be pretty low overall as habitats installed across the U.S. But I think one thing that could be done is setting up hives, not within the bounds of the facility, but in adjacent areas so that they can access the plants inside the facility but their hives aren't physically kept inside them, if that makes sense. - Yeah, so what I've typically seen is that the hives are placed outside the perimeter fence. - [Katie] Yeah. - Yeah. - [Katie] Yeah. - So, Melanie, I hope that, I hope that was your question. If not, let's expand it out here a little bit. Oh, Erica says IPA. Yep. That's what it. Okay, I would just invite you if you want to talk with me further on this, please gimme a call, drop me an email. I'd love to talk with any of you that want talk further about this. So I think with that, we're done seeing no more questions and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your afternoon.