Goatscaping: A Sustainable, Greener Option at BDD’s Solar Array

Buckman Direct Diversion (BDD) has a new team of landscape workers tackling the fields of weeds at the Booster Station 2A (BS2A) solar array. This team doesn’t require health insurance or retirement benefits either! Our hard workers include 45 goats, 2 sheep, 4 watch dogs and one petite goat wrangler from Horned Locust Goatscaping. Twelve more goats will be joining the team next week. The goatscaping is scheduled to last 2-3 weeks, eating during the day, and resting at night.

Horned Locust Goatscaping was recommended by the array construction contractor Positive Energy Solar to tackle the huge job of weed control at the 6 acres of solar array property. Positive Energy Solar recognized the benefits of using an environmentally friendly option for the remote, large parcel of land at the solar array. The goats enjoy eating the weeds at the array because the solar modules provide a tunnel of shade for them as they graze.

The main benefit of using goatscaping at solar arrays is the solar modules are safeguarded from damage of flying rocks from weedeaters or mowers.

Environmental bonuses include removal of the weed seeds for reduced future weed growth, and naturally enriching the soil with the goat’s hoof tilling and droppings thus producing a carbon-rich soil. Goatscaping allows balance to be brought back to the natural environment of the land.

The goats and sheep all have names and Horned Locust Goatscaping owner, Amanita Thorpe knows them all. Two sisters, Cricket and Edie, are very friendly and follow guests around the array like puppy dogs. Newest goats include mama Gouda and baby Feta. Circus Boy is the large patriarch buck of the herd and keeps a close eye on his flock, including the two sheep, Bonnie and Clyde. The herding dogs keep the goats in line and protect them from wild predators out in the fields.

If BDD staff determines this project is successful, we will continue to use goatscaping yearly to manage the weed growth at Buckman Direct Diversion. Follow our goatscaping updates on Twitter @BDD_Water, or Horned Locust, Positive Energy Solar’s FaceBook pages, www.facebook.com/HornedLocustRemediation, www.facebook.com/positiveenergysolar.