Energy Support Services Uses Farm Animals for Solar Site Maintenance

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Energy Support Services (ESS) has partnered with DSD Renewables to launch an agrivoltaics solution with DSD Renewables (DSD) for managing vegetation at a DSD solar energy site in Winchester, Va. 

The rocky terrain where DSD’s 1.8 MW ground-mounted project is located made mowing under the arrays difficult. The company contracted with ESS for an alternative to maintain the 7-acre site at The Village at Orchard Ridge, a Lutheran retirement community. The solution was to contract Katahdin Acres, a member of the American Solar Grazing Association, and employ sheep and pigs to manage the vegetation by grazing.

“Agrivoltaics is a very cost efficient and innovative vegetation management strategy that allows solar to be installed in areas that might not have been considered otherwise,” says Conrad Gross, ESS’ general manager. 

“By using the solar grazing association’s directory and partnering with a local business, Katahdin Acres, the Winchester community is effectively working together to successfully generate renewable energy where it would otherwise be impossible. We’re proud to have facilitated a solution that worked for both DSD and the retirement community to ensure the longevity and success of this solar array.”

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