Mainstream works to avoid, reduce, restore and replace impacts on biodiversity, in that order.
Before commencing construction on our Solar PV facility in the Free State Province of South Africa, we carried out a ‘search and rescue’ exercise, for any at-risk plant species that may have been located on the proposed site.
While no threatened plant species were discovered during the site survey, a number of species which are protected under local conservation laws were identified.
The survey took place in December 2023, which is summertime in South Africa and therefore the ideal time to identify the presence of live plants.
The objective was to identify, remove and where possible rescue or relocate species of concern, other rare species, or plants that can help relocated species thrive in their new locations.
Following the survey, a plant search and rescue operation was conducted, with a total of 218 protected specimens removed and successfully replanted outside of the development footprint, with the project overseen by botanical experts.
Of the 218 plants relocated, 151 were Aloe Greadheadii, and 67 were Boophone Disticha.
Importantly, it was determined that some of the aloes on a rocky area might be damaged during the removal process. This area was marked off as a ‘no-go area’ until an alternative removal method could be found.
“Activities such as this not just ensure Mainstream stays true to its core value of sustainability, but they also help to protect South Africa’s precious flora while adding to the country’s capacity for clean, affordable, renewable power."
Jennifer van Rooi
Construction HSE Manager, Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa
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