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When St. Cloud installed the City’s first on-site solar array at the Nutrient, Energy and Water Recovery Facility in 2016, they finished the installation by planting native prairie flowers and grasses, rather than turf grass.
The prairie landscape provides a low maintenance environment around the solar array. By installing the prairie species native to Stearns County, the facility ensures that the plants are adapted to the existing conditions of the site. The plants are a mixture of different species, selected to ensure that none would grow over the panels and block solar energy production.
The prairie plants are also pollinators, which means they create a significant expanse of invaluable habitat and feeding area for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.