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Companies are working together to increase biodiversity across UK renewable energy sites

The two companies are collaborating on five solar and BESS (battery energy storage system) projects across the UK to ensure each site meets its BNG targets.

BNG was mandated under the Environment Act 2021 and came into force in February this year. The law guarantees that investments affecting wildlife habitats will remain in measurably better condition than before, by at least 10%.

Commenting on the collaboration, Chris Binns, UK planning director at Queequeg Renewables, said: “The solar panels themselves are installed on poles, which means ground disturbance is minimal – usually only around one to two per cent total area of ​​the facility. This means the rest of the land is available for sheep grazing and actively improving the local environment through wildflower meadows or re-wilding.”

Solar farms improve local biodiversity by supporting new and existing plant and animal life in a variety of ways, both on site and in nearby land. These include:

  • Establishing meadows and grasslands: Large spaces between ground-mounted solar panels provide plenty of room to create new habitats for pollinators, butterflies and ground-nesting birds.
  • Maintaining and promoting the growth of new hedges: To reverse the loss of hedgerows, which is a major issue in rural management in the UK, new solar projects aim to preserve, restore and even ensure the growth of new hedgerows.
  • Protecting and promoting new wetland habitats: Local drainage and water management systems can be specifically designed to accommodate wetland habitats. These systems reduce local flood risk and support terrestrial and aquatic life in wetlands and ponds.

Binns continued: “As a renewable energy producer, Queequeg is committed to maintaining and improving the environment. This includes preserving existing habitats, creating new ones and increasing biodiversity at each of our sites.

“Biodiverse Consulting’s team of experts work with us from the initial design concept phase to understand the flora and fauna on site and the habitats and wildlife found there. They then create a tailored solution that maximizes the new facility’s positive impact on both people and wildlife. Their insights are invaluable.”

Vicki Mordue, founder and director of Biodiverse Consulting, said: “For companies to deliver the mandatory 10% net biodiversity benefit, they must thoroughly understand the risks and opportunities of each individual project. Our integrated approach includes professional advice at every stage of the development process – from the initial assessment of risks and opportunities, to surveys and assessments for planning and monitoring: up to construction and ongoing operations.

“It is clear from working with Chris and the team that Queequeg takes biodiversity extremely seriously and works hard to transform each of its properties into spaces where local species thrive,” she added.

“As passionate supporters of business and biodiversity, working hand in hand for a better planet, we are delighted to support Queequeg on its UK solar projects.”