Sheep grazing amidst a solar panel array.
Image credit:JMP.blog, via Dave Horne Photography
Grazing sheep are a practical means of controlling weeds and grasses that otherwise would block the sun from ground-level solar arrays. The practice, begun in Europe, may well become a world standard, and has already spread to America (see below for example).
The requisite fence around the solar farm perimeter not only 'keeps the sheeps,' it fences out peeps who might otherwise steal the sheeps...and panels. So, it's something insurance companies have come to insist upon.
How to keep the wolves at bay, though? Sheep dogs may definitely have a renewable energy future.
And, by sheer coincidence, wool may become a co-product of solar power generation. Marketer types will have fun branding it.
Why not goats? Because they would eat the equipment.
Thanks to the Raleigh News Observer for pointing this out:
Solar panels are pricey, and putting them on public display is not without risk. BB&T;, the bank that financed the project, required that the $4 million solar farm be surrounded by barbed wire.
To further promote the green theme, Carolina Solar Energy will arrange to have sheep brought in to trim the grass. Jim Stovall, chairman of the Person County Economic Development Commission, said sheep are a natural fit.