26 Jan 2023
Apex Clean Energy announced the recipients of its 2022 Conservation Grant Program, totaling $1.2 million in funding for conservation projects near the company’s commercialized renewable energy sites. The program, which represents the first of its kind within the clean energy industry, contributed $1.7 million in its first two years, generating an additional $4.3 million of matching grant funding and resulting in more than 1,500 acres of preserved and restored lands.
“Apex’s Conservation Grant Program advances sustainability beyond our core business, maximizing the positive impact of renewable energy while fostering an ecological balance in and around the communities where our projects operate,” said Mark Goodwin, Apex Clean Energy president and CEO. “Through our partners’ crucial work, the benefits of this program will ripple across the country, enhancing and restoring the species, habitats, and ecosystems that are the heart of our environment.”
In 2022, on behalf of four commercialized projects, Apex awarded grants to support the following initiatives:
- In Kansas, Ducks Unlimited ($198,000) will restore acquired croplands along the Neosho River back to native grasses and install water management capabilities to improve wetland functions and expand public recreational lands.
- In Iowa, The Nature Conservancy ($170,000) and Practical Farmers of Iowa ($55,000), alongside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will restore a total of 18 degraded oxbow wetlands across the state, with a primary focus within the Boone River Watershed, one of the last remaining homes of the federally and state-endangered Topeka shiner.
- In northeastern Texas, The Conservation Fund ($450,000) will acquire 450 acres of old-growth bottomland forest and associated habitat for preservation. The land will be transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for addition to the Little Sandy National Wildlife Refuge, linking almost 20,000 acres of nearly contiguous and perpetually preserved private and public lands along the upper Sabine River corridor.
- In Huntsville, Texas, Bat Conservation International ($200,000) will work alongside Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to restore or relocate a colony of nearly one million Mexican free-tailed bats from a critical historic bat roost.
- In the Texas Panhandle, Ducks Unlimited ($150,000)—through the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative partnership with the Playa Lakes Joint Venture—Texas Parks and Wildlife, and other partners will restore, manage, and enhance playas, a critical wetland habitat for bats, other wildlife, and people.
For every commercialized Apex project, the Conservation Grant Program contributes a sum of money proportional to the size of the project (approximately $1,000/MW or more) to support local or regional wildlife conservation, reforestation and flora restoration, or other environmental remediation investments in or near the project communities.
In 2021, Apex awarded its first round of conservation grants, totaling $492,000, to Prairie Land Conservancy, Grand Prairie Friends, Ducks Unlimited, and The Conservation Fund.
Apex Clean Energy | www.apexcleanenergy.com