Bats and Solar Power
At this point in time, there is no evidence to suggest that photovoltaic (PV) solar farms, constructed on the ground in fields, pose a direct fatality impact on bats. However, bat foraging and roosting habitat alteration, disturbance or destruction must be considered in any impact assessment. We do not recommend a full 12 months of monitoring, however, if key habitats are at risk, then a specialist must conduct a site visit in the appropriate season. Key habitats are listed on the "What Should Trigger a Specialist Assessment?" page.
Please note: The above position statement applies only to PV panels placed on the ground and does not apply to:
- Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). There has been evidence of bat fatalities occurring at such facilities in South Africa. A bat specialist opinion and recommendations should accompany all EIA’s for such developments.
- Roof mounted PV panels. Roof mounted solar panels may have an impact on the temperature regimes inside roofs where bats dwell. This would only be relevant in roofs where bats are known to be roosting. A specialist should be called in to investigate; a once-off site visit should be sufficient.