Companies team up to allow sheep to graze at Mendon solar farm
Lying on the grass, the black-headed Suffolk named “Juno” was basking in the sun Thursday morning as passers-by stopped to pet and take pictures with him.
“This guy loves the attention,” Finnegan said before stroking the 6-month-old lamb’s beige wool.
Juno wasn’t in a petting zoo. He was gnawing on grass at a community solar farm in Mendon – he and 14 of his brethren had been tasked with grazing on the land of a solar panel lot owned by Ameresco Inc., a Framingham energy services company.
The company partnered with BlueWave Solar, a Boston company that developed the solar panels, to pilot the sheep-grazing project.
Finnegan and his company, Solar Shepherd, LLC, of Mansfield, were brought on by the companies to provide and maintain the sheep.
The sheep are grazing near a panel array at Varney Farm on 128 Providence St. This is the first and only sheep-grazing site the companies have, but officials at both companies said they plan to expand.
As opposed to hiring workers who use gas-powered lawnmowers, the companies say they have plans to use the sheep for much of their grass-cutting needs to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious.
Ameresco Vice President Paul Makris said sheep-grazing costs are almost identical to they’d pay for human landscapers.