A solar farm in San Antonio, Texas has enlisted the help of sheep for landscaping. The 45-acre farm is operated by OCI Solar Power, and 'hired' about 90 Barbados-cross sheep in April for grazing -- an environmentally-friendly and inexpensive way to keep up with the farm's maintenance needs.
Sheep landscapers have been used before in California and South Carolina, but this is the first time this method has been used in Texas.
“It was good to see it was actually quite common," said Charlie Hemmeline, executive director of the Texas Solar Power Assiciation. “The fact that you’ve got a solar plant there isn’t necessarily restrictive to other uses such as grazing.”
The farm itself is a 4.4-megawatt solar farm, which is part of San Antonio's series of 400-megawatt plants, led by municipal utility CPS Energy. One megawatt of solar energy can cool up to 100 homes on a hot day, with even more potential on milder days.
The solar farm also has two herding dogs to protect the sheep from coyotes. The current herd is expected to stick around for about 10 months, when a breeder will switch out the sheep for a new herd.