FALL CREEK, Wis. (WEAU)- This summer, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative has a new, four-legged way of mowing the grass in its solar field, by using sheep.
The co-op says it's a project that will help them be even more sustainable.
Tuesday, fifteen 3-month-old lambs joined the co-op’s solar panel field.
“Well really it’s all about sustainability,” said Mary Kay Brevig, the Eau Claire Energy Cooperative’s Communication and Public Relations Manager. “We energized the facility in January, over 2,800 panels. It’s actually the largest in the state of Wisconsin as far as community solar goes, so we're really proud of that, and we thought the next would be to bring in some animals particularly sheep to control the vegetation.”
And a new mowing tactic; on average, sheep usually graze about 7 hours a day, so they've got some work to do with 4.5 acres.
“It’s kind of funny, they kind of stay in a group; they’re fairly timid,” Brevig said. “They have water here, they have shelter under the solar panels and they like to move around as a group, but it’s interesting to watch.”
The co-op got the sheep from Lambalot Acres in Augusta, who is also co-op members.
Lambalot Acres says they're happy to help out during their time of surplus.
“You get to have sheep someplace else and we got a lot more sheep last summer, like 200 of them,” said farmhand Dylan Klindworth at Lambalot Acres.
Lambalot Acres says they'll be bringing 10 more ewes to the field within the next week and will most likely take the sheep back in August.
“They've got solar panels which is a very green source of energy and we’ve got sheep which just eat the greens,” Klindworth said.
None of the sheep have been officially named yet, but the co-op will be announcing a name competition for members in the next few weeks.