Strathmore’s newest area farm may not be growing wheat or raising cattle but there will be a few animals in the field.
Capital Power’s solar farm project has recently been powered on and with it, they have announced a unique partnership with some hungry sheep.
Whispering Cedars Ranch, just east of Strathmore, will be loaning out some of their sheep to keep the grass at the solar farm in tip-top shape.
“We’ve been very interested in this concept over the past several years,” explained Janna Greir of Whispering Cedars Ranch who has been shepherding with her husband, Ryan, for over 10 years.
“When we heard that there was a solar installation coming to Strathmore, we were very excited and quickly got in touch with Capital Power to pitch our idea for vegetation management underneath their green energy production.”
Their idea was just as eagerly accepted at Captial Power who, being in the sustainable energy field, were looking for ways to reduce their footprint on the world.
“Typically, to manage the grass and other vegetation at a solar site of this size, you would need to use gas-powered mowers and trimmers on a near-continuous basis,” Katherine Perron, Media Relations & Communications Manager for Captial Power continued. “The sheep help us reduce, and possibly eliminate, the need for mowing."
Additionally, this partnership is a mutually beneficial opportunity because it maximizes land use of the solar site by offering local farmers additional land for their animals to graze, grow and thrive.
According to Greir, the sheep will be onsite in the warmer months and return home for the winter. The Greirs will be visiting the site daily to check up on the wooly lawnmowers and guardian dogs. The site will also be monitored by video surveillance 24/7.