California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission supports the Wild Energy Initiative through an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant. They are funding our research on the effects of photovoltaic and concentrating solar power on soils, plants, and animals in the Mojave Desert. Our collaboration will result in direct benefits to desert flora and fauna as well as California ratepayers by conserving plants and animals at solar facilities and streamlining mitigation of negative ecological effects of solar power generation.
Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity is funding one of Wild Energy’s flagship projects centered on quantifying the technical potential for solar energy production on the rooftops of the largest commercial buildings in the United States. They are helping us answer the question: “Why are we not putting solar panels on the rooftops of giant buildings?”. The CBD is particularly interested in the land sparing potential of rooftop solar on large commercial buildings because increased solar development in the built environment may mean less solar development in wild places with sensitive species.
Corporate and Industry Partners
We partnered with Aurora Solar, based in Palo Alto, CA, to use state of the art software specifically designed to accurately quantify technical potential of rooftop solar on large commercial buildings. Aurora developed a cloud-based optimization platform used to automate and engineer code-compliant designs for PV installations for our study. With the help of Aurora, we can ensure our estimations for the viability of rooftop solar on large commercial buildings are accurate and developed based on the best available software for modeling solar technical potential.
As an industry partner, NRG supports Wild Energy research on effects of concentrating solar power on plants and animals by allowing privileged access to their solar facility – Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System – in the Mojave Desert, USA. Access inside the site allows us to not only test for effects of CSP on plants and animals in the solar facility versus undisturbed desert, but also enables an experimental design that accounts for effects of site preparation and management on plants and animals inside ISEGS.