WINCHESTER — One of the issues when Randolph County's Area Planning Commission considers solar farm regulations on Wednesday is how helpful they should be to pollinators.

A draft ordinance calls for 20% of the landscape of a solar farm to be planted in native meadow grasses and pollinator-friendly wildflowers and/or clover.

But Madrid, Spain-based EDP Renewables (EDPR), which has announced plans to build a $242-million, 200-megawatt Riverstart Solar Park in the county, is asking that the percentage be lowered to 10%, according to Randy Abel, staff director of the commission.

"That's one of several things that EDPR wants changed," Abel said in an interview. "That will be part of the discussion."

Environmental groups are urging the commission to require more habitat in the regulations to help bees, monarchs and other critical pollinators that are declining.

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