A clean energy buildout in balance with nature 

In the United States, restoring natural ecosystems and expanding clean energy are two sides of the same coin. Clean energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to biodiversity loss, while healthy ecosystems regulate our atmosphere and provide protection from extreme weather. By approaching renewables with a nature-conscious mindset, we’re building clean energy projects that benefit ecosystems, wildlife, and communities. 

Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity is the backbone of a resilient planet – the healthy, balanced ecosystems that provide clean air, fresh water, arable land, and diverse wildlife. For millions of people, biodiversity is also the key to their livelihoods, ensuring plentiful crops, generous fish stocks, and natural materials for construction, art, medicine and more.

That’s why Ørsted is working to restore and preserve biodiversity across America. We’re collaborating with leading conservation experts and local communities to deliver clean energy projects that support natural ecosystems. We see renewable energy as a solution that addresses both climate change and biodiversity loss, and have started taking action to conserve ecosystems. Our key biodiversity ambition is to have all renewable energy projects commissioned by Ørsted from 2030 onward make a net-positive biodiversity impact.

Restoring native tallgrass prairies in Kansas

The Flint Hills region of eastern Kansas is home to two-thirds of the world’s remaining tallgrass prairie. To protect this ecosystem and keep it in a healthy state, Ørsted has donated more than $2 million to the Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy. Together with local landowners and environmental partners, we’re conserving and restoring up to 3,000 acres of tallgrass prairie around our Sunflower Wind Farm.
White and gray clouds hang over acres of native tallgrass prairies in Kansas being conserved by $2 million from Ørsted.
A blue pictogram of a sandpiper, a native Flint Hills species whose tallgrass habitat is being protected by Ørsted.

Habitat protection

An array of diverse wildlife lives in the Flint Hills, including greater prairie chickens, upland sandpipers, and pronghorns, America’s fastest land animal. By conserving this area, we can help maintain crucial prairie habitat for these unique species.
A blue pictogram of a hand cupping a heart sign, representing Ørsted's restoration activities with The Nature Conservancy.

Restoration activities

To maintain the ecological balance of the Flint Hills prairies, The Nature Conservancy will undertake crucial restoration activities. These include prescribed burns, invasive species removal, grazing management, wildlife support, and scientific assessments.
A blue pictogram of a flower, representing the native Kansas grasses being protected by Ørsted's biodiversity initiative.

Reviving native plants

Kansas’ tallgrass prairies are fertile ground for many native plants, including switchgrass, bluestem, and hundreds more. Thanks to conservation easements that protect prairie habitat, Ørsted can help protect native plant communities around our Sunflower Wind Farm.

Protecting native tallgrass prairies in Texas

From filtering water to storing carbon, prairies are some of the hardest-working ecosystems on the planet, serving people and animals alike. That’s why Ørsted has taken steps to preserve almost 1,000 acres of the tallgrass prairie that grows around our Mockingbird solar farm in Texas. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, we’re preserving over 50% of the Smiley-Woodfin Native Prairie Grassland, the country’s largest continuous stretch of this rare tallgrass. 
This field of green grass and yellow flowers  is part of Texas' tallgrass prairie, a rare ecosystem conserved by Ørsted.
A blue pictogram of a leaf, representing native tallgrass prairies' ability to store carbon and slow climate change.

Carbon storage 

Prairie soil naturally captures and stores large volumes of carbon – up to 5 tons per acre! This makes preserving prairies an integral step to reducing carbon in the atmosphere, addressing both biodiversity and climate challenges. 
A blue pictogram of a drop of water, representing native tallgrass prairies' ability to absorb water, preventing flooding.

Flood prevention 

Thanks to their deep root systems, prairies can absorb large quantities of rainwater, helping to reduce flooding. This makes healthy prairies a key tool for protecting local wildlife and communities during heavy rains. 
A blue pictogram of a bee, one of many pollinating species who depend on healthy native tallgrass prairies to thrive.

Boosting pollination 

Native prairies are a major habitat for pollinating species, including bees, monarch butterflies, and birds. By setting aside areas for tallgrass, we can boost the biodiversity and ecological health of Texas ecosystems. 

Restoring natural wetlands with the Playa Lakes Joint Venture

What does it take to make freshwater ecosystems used by both local wildlife and communities healthy, functional, and resilient? In Ørsted’s case, the restoration of 500 acres of playas – natural wetlands that collect rainwater and create temporary lakes that sustain native animals and vegetation. Together with the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, we’re restoring several playas near our Texas wind farms, reviving key biodiversity hotspots and replenishing local water supply. 
A flock of birds flying over Texas' natural wetlands, an area being restored by Ørsted and the Playa Lakes Joint Venture.
A blue pictogram of a waterbird, representing the native Texas birds, amphibians, and mammals who rely on wetlands.

Wildlife support

Birds, amphibians, and mammals all depend on playas for freshwater – particularly migrating birds, who use playa lakes as key stopover points. By conserving playas, we can help hundreds of native species thrive. 
A blue pictogram of a faucet letting out a drop of water, representing the role healthy playas play in making freshwater.

Replenishing aquifers 

Because they collect and filter rainwater and runoff, playas are a primary source of freshwater in arid areas. For local communities, restoring playa lakes will help refill aquifers, boosting clean drinking water availability in the region. 
A blue pictogram of two leaves on a stalk, representing how healthy wetlands can restore nature in the High Plains region.

Restoring nature

Playas play are a crucial support for people and wildlife, and help ensure ecosystems function correctly. By restoring these wetlands, we’re increasing the healthy playas needed to make the High Plains region more climate resilient. 

Identifying owl habitats with Arizona State University 

How can burrowing owls and solar panels coexist? This is the question students at Arizona State University have set out to answer. Funded by an Ørsted grant, future biologists, ecologists, and data analysts will identify areas in Arizona with high-priority owl habitats, and look into restoration opportunities. Students will seek solutions for relocating displaced owls and help energy companies understand how to responsibly construct solar farms alongside owl habitats. 
Two burrowing owls in Arizona whose habitat is being conserved through Ørsted's biodiversity initiatives.
A blue pictogram of a heart, representing the importance of species protection by Ørsted's solar farms.

Species protection

The population of burrowing owls has fallen considerably over the last century. By translocating owls to safe, preserved habitats, we can help protect and revitalize this unique species of burrowing bird.
A blue pictogram of a house, representing the need to preserve native owl habitats while building renewable projects.

Habitat preservation

By mapping populations of burrowing owls in Arizona, energy companies will be able to build and operate renewable projects with a nature-conscious mindset. This will be key to mitigating impacts on burrowing owl habitat.
A blue pictogram of a dot connected to three other dots, showing the bonds between climate, biodiversity, and community.

Combining solutions

We believe that climate, biodiversity, and communities are inseparable. This project brings together a much-needed clean energy buildout with biodiversity restoration and crucial involvement from locals.
Two male trainees working on wind turbines as part of an offshore wind workforce development program supported by Ørsted.

Workforce development and jobs

We’re creating good-paying jobs and investing in educational and training initiatives to build and boost the American workforce.
Two women on the porch of a university building, showing the kind of local community where Ørsted builds partnerships.

Local community partnerships

We’re engaging with local communities, building long-term partnerships that benefit residents and businesses.
A welder wearing safety gear in a manufacturing workshop that forms part of Ørsted's domestic clean energy supply chain.

Supply chain

We’re actively building a domestic supply chain, expanding manufacturing and investing in clean energy technologies.