In recent years, Florida has increasingly lived up to its name as the Sunshine State, with more and more solar panels dotting our landscape. Just in the last few months, Florida Power & Light have committed to building eight new solar power plants. Solar energy makes so much sense for Florida’s natural environment because every watt of solar electricity reduces energy produced by traditional generation. Increased solar power capacity, along with water and energy conservation and highly-efficient use of natural gas, will help reduce Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions. Audubon has already began partnering with solar power plants to recommend bird and pollinator friendly vegetation.
Along with saving water and reducing air pollution, solar plants have an additional benefit. The land used to build fields of solar panels can also be used to enhance habitat for birds and other wildlife. Fallow land repurposed for solar can also recharge groundwater by allowing rainfall to soak into the earth. With so much of natural Florida being gobbled up by development and agriculture, we should use every acre we can to restore some lost wildlife habitat.
Audubon encourages all Floridians to recognize how Water, Energy, and Birds are connected in a WEB, conserve energy/water, and promote efficient energy production and water use. For more, visit FL.Audubon.org/climate.