Answers to top questions from Landowners about Solar Farms!
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Have you considered putting solar onto your property but have questions about the process? Solar technology provides a clean, sustainable energy solution that complements other land uses, but landowners have common concerns about “solar farms” before they are willing to take the next step.
Many property owners do not realize that solar farms are quiet, produce no emissions, and do not increase road traffic. Instead, they quietly go about generating energy for years to come, helping to power homes and businesses while providing a steady income for the landowner. The technology of Solar Photovoltaics (PV) has been used in energy generation for decades and is quickly becoming the preferred technology of wholesale energy generators and utilities. The PV modules are fixed to steel racking and arranged to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight during daylight hours. Each of the PV modules converts sunlight into clean energy, which is then passed through electrical components, such as transformers and inverters, and injected onto the electrical utility grid. This produces clean renewable energy at a lower cost than existing utility rates.
Common questions about the process and what to expect when entering into a solar project include safety, development, maintenance, and protection of the land. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect.:
Safety– Landowners are often concerned about the safety component of installing a solar project. Will a solar array harm my land or my livestock? Do the panels emit harmful energy? Solar panels are an extremely safe technology and made of non toxic components. They don’t erode or cause emissions and they carry a strong warranty. This means they will be immediately disposed of and replaced if damaged. Tier 1 panels are used and certified by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for their stability and reliability.
Development-Landowners want to know how they will be guided through the development process while the project is being built. What are the steps of development and installation? How much am I expected to help? A good solar installation firm solar will directly handle property diligence, design of the installation, zoning approvals, and interconnection permission. Property diligence includes doing the necessary environmental and legal diligence to ensure the site can host a project. Professional engineers will then design a system that uniquely fits your property. A team will then work with local and state agencies to obtain required permits, and experts will coordinate with the utility to ensure a seamless interconnection of the project to the electrical grid.
Maintenance– Landowners want to know who is going to maintain the project and what it will entail. What if damage happens to the panels? How will the land be groomed? Each site is maintained by the solar company for the lifetime of the project. There will be a professional crew for regular mowing and weed maintenance throughout the seasons. Each site has top of the line monitoring technology that informs the company in real time when any project is working sub optimally. Technicians will be scheduled and promptly sent out to fix or replace the equipment.
Stewardship of the Land-This is one of the most important concerns for many landowners. They want to know their land is going to be protected during and after the solar project. Is there going to be any long-term damage to the soil? How does the solar installation get removed? Solar projects can prove beneficial for the land, especially when sited on low producing areas of a farm property. This allows landowners to make a consistent income while allowing the land to lie fallow and regenerate over time. Studies have shown that allowing land to lie fallow can provide long term benefits such as raising the organic content level of the soil and improving its moisture holding capacity. The solar company is responsible for the complete removal of the solar installation at the end of the project life and returning the property to its original state.
Are you interested in getting involved with a solar project on your land but want to learn more about the process? Contact Louth Callan Renewables at 860-814-4379 and speak to one of our experts to answer all your questions so you have a thorough understanding of the process before making the move into solar.