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Great Plains Institute (GPI)'s picture
Nonpartisan, nonprofit organization Great Plains Institute

A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the Great Plains Institute is transforming the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. We combine a unique consensus-building approach, expert...

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  • Sep 8, 2020
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"Solar energy is not only important to reaching a zero-carbon energy system—solar projects can, with appropriate siting and design, also deliver many benefits to local communities where projects are sited. Deploying the level of solar needed to decarbonize our economy will require addressing siting and regulatory processes which are increasingly a barrier to solar project development. The Great Plains Institute is fostering a new paradigm in the deployment of community- and utility-scale solar development; what we call the co-benefits approach to solar. We’re working with state, regional, and national partners to identify how energy development can both help solve the climate crisis and deliver local benefits to the host community."

"Here are three takeaways:

  • Community- and utility-scale solar development can deliver benefits beyond zero-carbon energy.
  • Groundwater protection, increased tax base, increased landowner return, habitat restoration or enhancement; these are among the co-benefits of appropriately sited and designed solar development.
  • The co-benefits approach to solar reflects two years of GPI-led discussions with agricultural, natural resource, water quality, and rural stakeholders about making solar development benefit both the climate and the community."

Learn more about how solar can be developed with a co-benefits approach from GPI Senior Program Director Brian Ross in his recent blog post.

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