Our work in the community is just as much a part of our company as our solar projects. Pine Gate is focused on making an impact locally, environmentally and globally through 5 core initiatives: Environmental Impact, Reforestation, Global Community Support, Local Community Support and Green Energy Footprint.
SolarCulture™ is Pine Gate Renewables’ trademarked initiative to protect and preserve the agricultural land on which our solar farms exist to help native plants and animals thrive. In action, that means:
We have wildlife-permeable fencing at seven of our operational farms and have instituted a standard operating procedure for it to be installed at all of our future sites that are under construction or in development. This means that small animals can get through, such as foxes, rabbits and raccoons.
We've incorporated pollinator habitats and native seeds plantings at eight of our farms in North Carolina and Oregon to ensure the land's longevity.
Our apiary at the Eagle Point project in Oregon boasts 57 beehives and is the largest solar farm apiary in the United States.
Through collaborations with environmental organizations and landowners, we continually pursue the development of SolarCulture™ initiatives for our projects.
Native plant species are incorporated into on-site revegetation efforts to support pollinators, their crucial crop pollination services, and their rippling benefits to local farms and economies.
The SolarCulture initiative works with local groups to craft seed mixes and maintenance plans for the individual site needs so production can continue for generations to come.
Local jobs and vegetation are supported. Landscape contractors are hired for the installation and ongoing maintenance of native vegetation restoration sites, and local farmers have an opportunity to collaborate through the collocation of crops and/or livestock within the solar project.
There are four categories of ecosystem services which provide unseen, integral benefits we freely gain from the environment. The SolarCulture initiative assesses the current state of these services and determines possibilities for enhancement at any given site.
As we continue to expand our renewable energy footprint, new construction can at times lead to the timbering of wooded parcels to make way for our solar and energy storage projects.
Through a national partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, we plant 2 trees for every 1 removed from one of our project sites.
In our own backyard, we support Asheville GreenWorks to contribute to local environmental conservation and replanting efforts.
Global Community Support
Pine Gate is a national partner of the GivePower Foundation, which constructs solar-powered desalination and water purification plants that provide access to clean drinking water for global communities in need.
Pine Gate donates $200 for every MW installed to fund the development and construction of these plants around the globe. In 2021 alone, that contribution will allow more than 10,000 people annually to access clean drinking water in their community.
Local Community Support
When we develop our solar projects, we’re not just focused on development and construction – we actively seek ways to contribute to local communities. In addition to creating jobs, property tax revenue and locally sourced green energy, we want to make a real impact for the people who live there.
In order to help fulfill this initiative, Pine Gate established an employee-directed fund to support local giving efforts targeting underfunded community interest programs where our projects are located. Through this ongoing effort, Pine Gate continues to look for creative ways to be a contributing member of the communities where we do business.
Green Energy Footprint
In 2021, Pine Gate will begin measuring its energy footprint to assess greenhouse gas emissions in order to allocate PGR project RECs for retirement. Our mission is to create a truly “green” renewable energy company.
This evaluation will include measuring the impact of our:
- Office energy consumption
- Business travel
- Employee commuting
- Procurement value chain
- Third party contracting relationships
- Other PGR related energy consumption activities
To give you a sense of the impact that renewable energy has on the environment, our own portfolio of operating solar farms includes 907MW of power. That is a savings of nearly 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.