Carolina Solar Energy developed the newest solar energy park in North Carolina. The park is a small one, powering about 60 homes in Person County.
Sheep are being used to trim the weeds around the solar panels, so they are kept completely receptive to the sun. Sheep contribute less to global warming than do gas-powered lawn mowers. The practice of grass and weed management via sheep reportedly comes from Europe. (The United Nations in Geneva is also using sheep to keep its grounds well-manicured, and last year, the city of Turin, Italy brought in sheep to trim their parks, instead of using conventional lawnmowers.)
Sheep can reach tight places between solar panels not easily touched by landscaping equipment. Using the shaggy herds could also carry the benefit of creating wool, depending on the type of animal selected.
3,240 photovoltaic panels generate the electricity. Sixty homes is not a lot, but the park serves also as an educational experience for the public. “People are stopping by all the time. At first, people thought it was a vineyard because we were putting up a lot of poles, ” said the owner of Carolina Solar Energy, Richard Harkrader.
Another North Carolina company, SAS, is using sheep on its own solar electric farm.
Image Credit: Jmp Blog
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