Bees, butterflies, and other insects that pollinate many plant species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Some species such as the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee have been listed as an endangered species. Other species, like the Monarch Butterfly, are at risk of becoming endangered. Planting pollinator friendly habitat is the best way to help these species that pollinate the plants we rely on for food and other materials. On solar sites there is a lot of available space that can provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife rather than being planted to turfgrass or covered in rock. In 2018, with support from solar energy businesses and conservation groups, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Illinois Pollinator-Friendly Solar Site Act (525 ILCS 55/). To be recognized as a "pollinator friendly solar site," the owner or manager of the site must complete the appropriate solar site scorecard with a passing score.
Completion of a scorecard does not meet or replace any requirements of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources consultation process. To complete the consultation process, please go to EcoCAT.
For pollinator habitat plantings that have been established for 3 or more years, skip to step 3.
For new sites:
Solar site owners or managers who are planning pollinator friendly habitat must complete the Illinois Planned Habitat on Solar Sites Scorecard with a passing score to achieve preliminary recognition as a "Pollinator Friendly Solar Site". This preliminary recognition is good for 3 years.
For established pollinator habitat plantings (3 years or older), solar site owners or managers must complete the Illinois Established Pollinator Habitat on Solar Sites Scorecard with a passing score to maintain recognition as a "Pollinator Friendly Solar Site". This must be completed after the first 3 three years and then once every 5 years.
For more information on pollinators, click here: Pollinator Resources.
For more questions regarding the Solar Site Pollinator Scorecard, please email DNR.SolarPollinator@illinois.gov