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Today's Power, Inc. Partners with University of Arkansas to Advance Habitat Preservation through Solar Energy

In a significant move towards understanding and enhancing the relationship between renewable energy and environmental preservation, the University of Arkansas (UofA) received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in 2023. The grant is dedicated to studying the

impact of solar arrays on the environment and natural habitats. Today's Power, Inc. (TPI), a leading renewable energy company, is partnering with UofA to monitor and track native species at their solar sites, reflecting their unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship.


A Collaborative Effort to Monitor Biodiversity

Under the leadership of Biology Professor J.D. Willson at the UofA, the study focuses on the biodiversity present at TPI's solar arrays as well as others across Arkansas and surrounding states. The collaborative effort aims to gather comprehensive data on how solar installations affect local wildlife species, including mammals, birds, butterflies, amphibians, and reptiles. Professor Willson's team conducts regular surveys and employs various tracking methods to measure wildlife diversity at approximately 17 TPI sites.


Promising Early Results

Initial findings from the study have been encouraging. TPI's solar sites rank among the most biodiverse in the study thus far. “We have seen most species we would expect to see on prairie sites, including sensitive species like Bobwhite quail, box turtles, treefrogs, and mammals like bobcats, badgers, and foxes" He emphasizes that the impact of TPI's solar installations on wildlife and biodiversity has been net positive compared to other land uses such as agriculture or urban development, adding, "I am impressed with how limited the disturbance created by the installation of the panels is."


Commitment to Environmental Health

TPI's dedication to fostering biodiversity is evident in their strategic approach to designing solar sites by incorporating native plants and grasses beneath and around the solar panels. These vegetated areas not only enhance local biodiversity but also contribute significantly to soil stabilization and carbon sequestration. Professor Wilson stated, “We were particularly interested in including TPI’s sites in the study because they have been using vegetation management practices aimed at enhancing native plant diversity and minimize mowing and herbicide.” 


Towards a Sustainable Future

The partnership between TPI and UofA not only provides valuable insights into the positive impacts of solar on local ecosystems but also helps refine strategies for promoting biodiversity. The data collected will aid in optimizing plant species selection and land management practices to create even more supportive environments for native wildlife.


TPI's vision extends beyond merely providing clean energy; it envisions a sustainable future where energy production, agriculture, and biodiversity coexist harmoniously. Through their innovative efforts and strategic collaborations, TPI is making significant strides in contributing to the health and resilience of the environment, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

You can learn more by visiting the Project webpage:



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