1 May 2021
ACE Power is committed to ensuring our activities and commitments do not negatively impact the environment in which we work. Our objective is to always achieve a biodiversity net gain, providing an overall increase in natural habitat and ecological features on all our projects.
We recognise the importance of environmental protection and are committed to operating our business sustainably, responsibly and in full compliance with the statutory and regulatory bodies.
We seek and implement independent ecologist advice to allow natural habitats to actively thrive.
Solar farms present an excellent opportunity to enhance natural biodiversity and to create additional habitats. These can include:
- Site boundaries: Infilling hedgerows and trees with native species.
- Grassland: This can be at the site boundary or under the solar panels. Grassland helps prevent soil erosion and can also incorporate wildflower meadows and fine grasses which will support habitats for a range of invertebrates, small mammals, reptiles and birds. Alternatively, grassland can be developed as pasture. Low intensity grazing can provide an environmentally friendly way of managing grassland as well as increasing its conservation value. Grazing also enables the land to become dual purpose, used for generating electricity whilst remaining agriculturally productive.
- Artificial structures: Purpose built bat and bird boxes for nesting, roosting and hibernation are incorporated. Hibernacula includes logs piles, which create suitable conditions for reptiles and amphibians to hibernate.
- The greatest biodiversity benefits will be gained on site where fertilizer and pesticide use are minimised or eliminated totally. Such an approach will enable flora and invertebrate diversity to increase over time.
Following construction there is little human activity apart from occasional maintenance visits. An average solar farm has a life span of 35-40 years and therefore is sufficient time for appropriate land management to yield real wildlife benefits.
Once built, the habitat enhancements are checked regularly, as follows:
- Planting is accessed in spring and autumn to ensure plants have taken and remain healthy, along with the entire site checked for injurious weeds.
- Nesting and roosting boxes are cleaned and checked for structural integrity outside of the breeding season.
We monitor and control noise emissions and light pollution from our works and operations and actively identify and engage alternative methods within reason to reduce the impact on the natural environment.
Procurement – Suppliers
Contractors are asked to where possible to follow the sustainable practices that include:
- Recycle waste materials eg. timber from crates, plastics, glass, cement by using local recycling facilities
- Avoid landfill where possible
- Contracts must have recycling and accredited waste removal practices in place
This Environmental Policy is reviewed bi-annually and is communicated to all employees, suppliers, sub-contractors and is made available to the public.