At Encavis AG, we believe that entrepreneurial behaviour is also closely linked to an awareness of social responsibility. Therefore, we are actively involved – out of conviction and in our own interests.
Sustainability in conjunction with energy does not always involve the use of technology – as demonstrated by the deployment of sheep as “greenkeepers” around solar parks. Indeed, the animals have been hard at work for several years, tending the grass in parks run by energy associations and solar park operators.
This sheep grazing in harmony with nature is highly efficient and extremely valuable. The shepherds benefit because they don’t lose access to grazing areas as a result of photovoltaic parks. The sheep can use the solar modules as providers of shade and protection against the wind. They can also use the supporting structure as a safe retreat for their lambs. Thanks to the regular sheep grazing, the modules don’t become overshadowed by rampant growth and are not exposed to dust contamination or damage due to stone chipping that can arise with mechanical mowing. What’s more, regular checks by the shepherds help reduce the risk of theft. From a conservation viewpoint, this dual use of the land is a good idea. Extensive grazing has positive effects on the biodiversity and leads to an increase in the variety of species. This is because sheep act as a means of transport for other species of fauna and flora.
From spring to the end of autumn, some 1,000 sheep, which include breeds such as Suffolk sheep, are on active duty for Encavis. With the help of our four-legged friends, the ground around the plants recovers better; the use of sheep is also much less costly than other alternatives. And not forgetting animal well-being: The gutters on solar modules collect rain water that the sheep can drink.