National Renewable Energy Lab Studies Plants In Twin Falls Solar Field
Over a dozen rows of blue solar panels stand in a grassy lot. This is the new solar field opened by Clif Bar. The panels will produce about a third of the energy needs for the company’s manufacturing plant in Twin Falls.
The National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) is studying which plants grow best around solar panels, and which ones bring pollinators with them. Clif Bar is one of 25 sites accross the country in NREL’s InSPIRE project, which is examining how things like native vegetation, beekeeping and agriculture co-exist with solar fields. Over the next decade, the lab predicts three million acres in the U.S. will be covered by solar panels.