The paneled area of this project will be planted with what is called a meadow mix, which is a seed mix made up of native annual and perennial species that takes root quickly and requires minimal mowing. This type of surface cover helps to promote infiltration of water, and studies conducted by Earth Engineering, INC have verified that infiltration is a viable stormwater treatment for this site. Concentrated runoff from impervious surfaces or excess water from the paneled area will be captured by our 16 infiltration basins, each placed specifically where we expect to maximize their impact on stormwater runoff. Water that enters the infiltration basins is released from the bottom of the basin at a very slow rate of return to the water system. Once runoff water enters the infiltration process, it will move through the subsurface and be cooled back to normal temperatures before they enter temperature sensitive waters. The closest basin to Swiftwater Creek has an 800 foot flow path.
Some of the basins for Swiftwater Solar will release into local wetlands, none of which will have primary disturbances from runoff. We are required by the Monroe County Conservation District (MCCD) to have licensed environmental scientists perform anti-degradation analysis to ensure there will be no secondary impact to wetland and their buffers. Those scientists have determined that the water that our basins will let out into those wetlands will have no secondary impacts.
On a much larger scale, it is a fact that continued use of fossil fuels will raise the temperature globally. The currently predicted 2.5 to 10 degree temperature increase over the next 100 years will cause significant, irreparable harm to not only the fish and wildlife living in Swiftwater Creek, but the fish and wildlife living in every creek on Earth. Grid-scale renewable energy projects like Swiftwater Solar are critical to mitigate that temperature increase and this location is ideal for a grid-scale project.