Endangered Toad Helps Get $32M Solar Project Hopping

by | Jan 15, 2010

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toadyMilton Industrial Park is breaking ground on the largest solar farm in Pennsylvania Feb. 15, thanks to a lowly toad.

The industrial park in Milton, Pa., for years had wanted to expand by adding more buildings on a 42-acre plot that is a primary breeding ground for the endangered eastern spadefoot toad, reports the Daily Item.

But the construction of buildings may have decimated the toad population, which can burrow five feet into the ground.  Developers found that they could build a ground-mounted solar operation with minimal impact to the toad population, however.

Now, the industrial park is getting a 6 megawatt, $32 million solar farm on 22 of those acres, reports Pennsylvania Business Central.

The array, which will consist of 26,000 photovoltaic panels, will be one of the largest solar farms east of the Mississippi River, develops say. The system will generate enough electricity to power about 80 percent of the 1,800 homes in Milton.

With construction happening during winter, the toads will still be underground and will not be impacted.

In California, development of solar in the Mojave desert is being put on hold by concerns over wildlife.

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