EQ Research Publishes Report on Pollinator-Friendly Solar in Indiana


CARY, NC – May 5, 2020 – EQ Research, the national energy consulting firm known for Policy Vista™, a suite of products analyzing regulatory proposals, state legislation, integrated resource plans, low carbon fuels, general rate cases, electric vehicles and RPS markets, released today Pollinator-Friendly Solar in Indiana, a new report completed in collaboration with the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy. EQ Research will be discussing key findings from this report in a Clean Energy States Alliance webinar today (1:00-2:30 pm ET) on State Pollinator-Friendly Solar Initiatives; registration is free and open to all.

The report highlights the benefits that Hoosiers could see from adopting policies that encourage pollinator-friendly practices at solar sites. Pollinator-friendly solar refers to solar sites that are planned and managed to promote pollinator conservation by creating and maintaining pollinator habitat. Indiana is home to thousands of pollinator species, including bees, butterflies, and moths, whose populations are critical to a variety of agricultural crops and ecosystems.

“Policies that encourage pollinator-friendly solar practices could provide substantial benefits to Indiana,” according to Ben Inskeep, the report’s author and Principal Analyst at EQ Research. “It makes sense from an economic, agricultural, and environmental perspective. Low-cost solar can help keep electricity bills down. Smart management practices at these solar sites can often reduce costs over the life of a solar project. These practices can help threatened pollinator species rebound and thrive, providing lasting environmental and agricultural benefits to the Hoosier State.”

While Indiana’s electricity is currently generated primarily by coal and natural gas power plants, the State is poised for a solar boom in the 2020s as many aging coal plants have been slated for retirement. With Indiana’s investor-owned utilities planning to add roughly 6,000 megawatts of solar over the coming decade – an increase of approximately 1,600% compared to today’s levels – now is the ideal time for state and local governments to consider adopting procurement and land use policies encouraging pollinator-friendly solar.

“Pollinator-friendly solar is a natural result of increasing innovation and competition in PV solar development,” said Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at nonprofit Fresh Energy, a national catalyst and clearinghouse for pollinator-friendly solar. “By 2030, farmers and landowners will lease more than three million acres of land for PV solar. Under the panels will be bare ground, gravel, turfgrass, or something meaningfully better—a once-in-a-generation opportunity to cost-effectively create resilient landscapes that benefit agriculture, ecosystems, and energy.”

This report describes and builds on policies adopted in other states including Virginia, Minnesota, South Carolina, Vermont, Michigan, Maryland, New York, and Illinois, that encourage pollinator-friendly practices at solar sites. It includes recommendations to policymakers and provides resources, such as model policies and examples from other states and local governments, to help Indiana’s decision makers navigate policy options.

The report can be downloaded here.

Questions on the report or media inquiries can be directed to Ben Inskeep at binskeep@eq-research.com. Questions about the national trend of pollinator-friendly solar can be directed to Rob Davis at davis@fresh-energy.org.

About EQ Research

EQ Research provides policy research, analysis and data services to businesses active in renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. EQ Research’s areas of expertise include state regulatory policy and utility proposals, state legislation, financial incentives, local government policy, RPS and REC issues, net metering, rate design, and general rate cases. A recently launched product, IRP as a Data Service™, keeps subscribers up-to-date on utility and Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) energy procurement schedules from their IRPs. The product goes deep into energy resource planning, cutting through the noise, to get you verified planning information. Users get a detailed breakdown of each utility or CCA’s IRP, allowing for the quick identification of opportunities to bid resources. Don’t miss an exciting opportunity to visualize IRP data for more than 70 utilities and CCAs across the nation, all in one tool.

Prior to forming EQ Research, several of its analysts managed and operated the nationally recognized DSIRE project for the U.S. Department of Energy, from 2007 to 2013. EQ’s team also includes the founders of Keyes & Fox LLP, a firm of national legal experts in renewables, distributed energy resources (DERs) and low-carbon transportation fuels. Keyes & Fox attorneys have shaped state-level energy policy through appearances before more than 40 states’ public utility commissions, and through engagement with state legislatures across the country.

To gain expert insight from EQ Research or to learn more about other services offered through Policy Vista™, visit eq-research.com, call 919-238-4360 or email info@eq-research.com.