National energy efficiency solutions company, Anesco, has joined forces with the RSPB, Europe’s largest nature conservation charity, on a pioneering new project that aims to enhance the biodiversity of solar farms.
The agreement, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will see the creation of natural habitats for some of the country’s most at risk species. It comes after research by the RSPB and other partners in 2013 revealed *60% of UK species have declined over the last 50 years.
Anesco works with clients ranging from major corporations to small businesses and individuals, helping to drive carbon reduction and transform energy use. The company has managed the design and construction of some of the UK’s largest and most complex ground mount schemes, installing in excess of 500MWs of solar PV.
The first stage of the partnership will see RSPB experts visiting a number of Anesco’s existing solar farm sites to advise on ways they can be further enhanced to the benefit of ‘priority species’ – those wildlife groups deemed to be under the most serious threat. These recommendations will then be used to shape Anesco’s biodiversity management plans for all new solar farm sites.
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Darren Moorcroft, the RSPB’s Head of Species and Habitats Conservation, commented: “We are happy to announce this new partnership with Anesco, building on their existing work to enhance their solar farm site biodiversity and to realise the potential they have to greatly benefit UK wildlife.
“Over the next few years we will be working with Anesco to further improve the habitats created at their solar farm sites across the UK. It is an excellent opportunity to develop habitats for nature in need of our help, showcasing how a renewable energy business and wildlife conservation can be delivered in unison; whilst providing clean energy and sustainable development we can still continue to give nature a home.”
Adrian Pike, Anesco CEO, said: “Encouraging biodiversity has always been a priority for us and we’re thrilled to be working with such a respected and knowledgeable organisation as the RSPB to build on our existing commitment. With this project, which is the first of its kind for the industry, we are again leading the way when it comes to promoting a model of best practice.
“Thanks to this partnership, we will not only be continuing to create habitats at our sites in accordance with planning rules, but will be going far beyond this. We will be maximising the positive impact that our sites have for local wildlife, while focusing on supporting those species that really need it.”
A number of Anesco’s solar farms, including sites coming online in the next few weeks in Chesterfield and Stratford, are part of community energy schemes, which individuals can invest in. This sustainable model of solar development is helping reduce the country’s carbon emissions, creating habitats for priority species and at the same time generating funds for local communities.
For more information please visit www.anesco.co.uk