Starting A Solar Farm Business From Scratch
When you start a solar power business from scratch, you need to learn a lot about the industry. You must have knowledge about installation, different products available, and solutions for business owners and homes. It is also about building a good relationship with the suppliers and different sales consultants.
When you start a solar farm, market research and feasibility are quite important. Services of a solar firm are useful for the following industries:
- High schools, colleges, and universities
- Blue-chip companies
- Financial institutions, insurance companies, and banks
- Religious organizations
- Publishing Houses or Printing Press
- Contractors, developers, and real estate owners
- Research and development companies
The Future Of Solar Farm Investing
There are so many ways to get involved with solar farm investing. Whether thats building a solar farm, creating microgrids, or buying stock.
Investing in solar power helps create jobs, is backed by government incentives, and is becoming increasingly accessible. Read about South Landing Eco-District to learn how these investors made green with green buildings.
Tips To Ensure A Steady Income By Leasing Your Land For A Solar Farm
If your land meets solar farm land requirements, most probably multiple developers are interested in leasing your land. As there is much demand for producing solar energy and there are few large land parcels available for building solar panel fields, be ready to be pursued relentlessly by solar developers. You may not have to do any paperwork and they may entice and prompt you to sign the lease agreement.
There are numerous financial advantages for you. However, you also need to stay alert and guard yourself against the risks involved. If you do not do your homework, you could lose your advantage and benefits and would regret it later.
Here are some tips to ensure that you are not taken for a ride by the solar developers.
- Hire a lawyer who is well-versed in this kind of deal. It must be someone whom you can trust to protect your exclusive interests.
- Read and understand the documents before you sign them.
- Include in the lease agreement:
- Payment of additional property taxes by the developer
- Compensation for crop damage
- Proper maintenance of the land
- Create an escrow account to cover the cost of the removal of cement ballasts and solar panels when the lease expires
If you have a large tract of uncultivable land, leasing it out for a solar farm is indeed a good idea. However, you must do sufficient homework before committing to a deal. The first step would be to determine whether your land meets the solar farm land requirements.
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Pros And Cons Of Starting A Solar Farm
One of the most popular green company options is that of starting a solar farm. Not only there are many successful private companies in the business, in order to meet their sustainable energy targets, the governments of the countries are also subsidizing it. Furthermore, owing to a recent boom in technological innovations, experts are also speculating that solar energy might become mainstream in the near future. Even right now it is the leader when it comes to renewable energy.
Most of the existing solar farms are owned by private companies. The involvement of private companies in solar farming indicates two things. First, its a profitable venture. Second, its feasible enough for individual companies to invest in it. You can make your own successful solar farm. But before deciding to go for it you should take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a solar farm.
How Much Would A 1 Acre Solar Farm Cost
How much does it cost to install 1 acre of solar panels?
Installation costs for solar farms are much less than for domestic solar systems, which come in at around $2.80 per kW in most states.
Solar farms installations can cost between $0.90 and $1.30 per kW. Lets take an average of $1.1/kW and assume the amount of solar power to be installed on 1 acre is 435kW:
435kW x $1.1/kW = $478,500
This capital cost can be reduced a lot by applying Government and State incentives in the form of grants and loans. Without such incentives the cost would be off-putting for most farmers and land-owners.
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Solar Farms: What Are They & How Do They Work
The latest cash crop to arrive on farm fields: solar panels. Thats right solar farms are sprouting up across America in all shapes and sizes, from small ones that light up local communities to gigantic, utility-scale solar farms that power thousands of homes.
In the last decade alone, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 49%. Much of this growth is due to the number of solar farms popping up around the U.S., including our very own solar farm in West Texas, Oberon.1
Today, theres enough solar power on the grid to power 15.7 million homes.1 Now, thats a lot of electricity from sunshine to go around. Lets talk more about solar farms, the different types of farms out there and the specifics such as the cost, the power output and more.
Drawbacks Of Living Near A Solar Farm
The opposition claimed the glare from solar panels may disrupt drivers, and the rows of silicone panels ruin the lush landscape.
Although there are many benefits of using solar power, its wise to consider any potential downsides of living next to a solar energy field. One man in New York is well aware of the drawbacks of solar farms as neighbours criticized his solar energy field. The opposition claimed the glare from solar panels might disrupt drivers, and the rows of silicone panels ruin the lush landscape.
Local Habitat is Disrupted Although solar power is known for its minimal environmental impact, solar farms are at risk of damaging the ground. Residential and commercial solar panels are often fitted on rooftops causing minimal disruptions to their surroundings. However, a solar energy field must be built on flat ground, typically farmland. Due to its size, it disrupts the land and local habitat, causing wildlife to move along. There are also some concerns that a solar energy field may increase the number of bird deaths. Researchers have suggested that the intense light reflections may contribute to this.
Improperly disposed of lithium-ion batteries is hazardous waste, but its important to note that the strength of electromagnetic waves decreases with distance. This means the perimeter of a solar farm will have very low levels. For some people, increasing their exposure to EMF isnt a safe option and may harm people with hypersensitivity.
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Other Ways To Invest In The Solar Farm Industry
If you are not interested in setting up a solar farm, you can still specialize in the solar industry.
Here is a list of niche ideas:
- Monitoring services
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Find The Land For Space
Solar farm companies need space to set up the panels. Thus, there is a requirement for land to get started.
Often a question arises related to the area required for a 1 MW solar power plant. At least 15 acres of land is necessary to start. Those who have the capital ready can purchase the land straightaway. If you do not wish to purchase, you might be able to lease the land. However, the leasing agreement should be for at least 50 years. This will ensure there will not be any need to dismantle the solar panels too soon.
You can also invest in a shared community solar farm where you can pay for a part of the land of the solar panel only.
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Cons Of Starting A Solar Farm
1. Solar Farms Take up a Lot of Space
Since they are ground mounted, solar panels require a lot of space.
2. Solar Farms Are Expensive.
The investment costs are quite high as discussed in earlier sections, so you will need to be adequately capitalized to start this type of business.
3. Set Up is Complex
As we discussed, there are significant permitting and other licenses that may be required and the entire process can take years. This is not something that you will be able to start in a month.
4. Power Storage Can Be Expensive
People need electricity 24/7 but the solar panels work only in daytime. So for the surplus electricity generated , storage is required. Lithium-ion battery packs are commonly used to store solar energy and they cost around $1,000 per kilowatt-hour.
Solar Farms Pros And Cons: 7 Facts We Cant Deny
In struggling with the economy of energy, consumers and policy makers end up with two options: make more or use less. While conservation is a popular idea, it is a practical challenge to a significant degree. So dependent are developed cultures on automation that restraint of power usage is likely only achievable around the edges of peoples lives. Renewable energy better appeals to this plugged-in society. Solar farms are attractive to many, but are not without shortcomings.
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Why Start Your Own Solar Farm
Starting your own solar farm is a great use of land.
They help support clean energy goals and create healthier communities with access to affordable energy.
Plus, even if youre not well-equipped to build or maintain a solar farm yourself, that doesnt mean you cant lease out your land for solar farm use.
Thats still a great way to support the planet while making money.
If you have land thats well equipped for a farm, then do the research and find out how you can lease your land to a third party today!
Competing Demands: Water Energy And Food
Solar energy is increasingly affordable- in fact the price of utility-scale generation has dropped by 86% since 2009. As costs fall, many countries plan to expand solar generation dramatically to meet international climate commitments China alone added 52.8 GW of solar generation last year. But there are challenges with integrating solar generation into the grid, since it is dependent on sunlight and is thus an intermittent source. Photovoltaic panels stop producing when the sun stops shining, while concentrated solar power harnesses thermal energy from the suns rays, allowing generation to continue only briefly after sunset. These limitations could impede development or make other power sources more attractive. Some new solar facilities are built on agricultural land, eliminating livelihoods and reducing local food production. This land-use change can stir tensions in rural communities, as happened in Connecticut where farmers who leased land found themselves in competition with clean energy. And especially in poorer and marginalized communities, it could change food production for decades. One state-run solar company in India leases farmland for 28 years, paying farmers much more than they would have made from their harvests.
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Generate Passive Income By Leasing Your Land To Solar Farm Developers
If you own land that meets the various requirements we just discussed, but donât want to actually deal with the cost and hassle of starting a solar farm, you may want to look into leasing out your land to solar farm developers.
This type of lease can provide a pretty nice source of passive income. According to solarlandlease.com, you can earn between $250 to $2,000 per acre, per year. Not a bad recurring payday for otherwise idle land.
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Decide Whether To Buy A Franchise Or Start From Scratch
Starting a solar power business requires in-depth learning about the industry, available products, installation, and solutions for home and business owners. It also involves establishing relationships with suppliers and their sales consultants, so a supply of solar equipment is always available, along with a source of in-depth information for the questions the business owner cant answer.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure all of the foregoing is to buy a franchise, as the entire Business model is already created, the kinks are worked out and the business is essentially ready to go.
Research various solar power franchise opportunities and select a franchise to work with. This way, the business model, including the business plan, and advertising media and materials are all ready-made. Establish a relationship with the chosen franchise and get as much information as possible about the way the business is operated, the startup capital required and the process of becoming a franchisee.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing or spending power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new solar farm or solar panel installation, maintenance and repair company in same location where our target market exist and who may want to adopt same business model like us.
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Solar Farms: Photovoltaic Pv Vs Solar Thermal
Most early solar farms were built using solar thermal technology. Thermal solar farms use a series of mirrors to concentrate the suns heat onto a central column that uses the high temperature to create steam, which then spins a turbine to make electricity
Stationary vs Tracking
Solar farms that use PV technology may install stationary or rotating panels in rows. The more panels, the more space is needed and the more electricity is generated.
Thermal solar farms install collectors mirrors , dishes, reflectors and troughs that move to track the suns path across the sky.
Solar Farm Site Assessment
A PV solar farm can range from a few acres to hundreds of acres in size. They can be found across the country.
A thermal solar farm can be small but most are large in the thousands of acres. Most are found in desert areas.
Soil composition, water access, and proximity to power lines and substations all play a part in the selection of a site. Zoning issues affect the location of solar farms. Landowners legal rights to contract for long terms can influence site selection between private and federally owned land.
Solar Farm Financing options
Solar Farm Incentives
Rebates and tax credits can help defray the costs of solar farm installation. Feed-in tariffs and solar renewable energy certificates can help make the operation of a solar farm profitable.
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How Do You Remove Solar Panels
Believe it or not, one of most tedious part of the whole solar panel process is removal.
If youre deciding to start a solar farm, then youll want to put solar panel removal in the contact with the solar company.
That way, youve already determined who is responsible for the removal of the panels and the cost of the removal at the end of their life.
Covering the dismantling costs early in the contract will protect the landowner from any additional costs that may be associated with the removal process.
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List Of The Cons Of Solar Farms
1. They take up a lot of space. Solar farms are large-scale applications of active energy collection, most commonly through the installation of photovoltaic panels. These panels generate electricity, which is then fed into a distribution grid. They are usually developed in rural areas because of the amount of space that is required for them. To generate 1 megawatt, a solar farm would require about 2.5 acres. Most solar farms are 100 acres or less in size. The facility in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, has a capacity of 648 megawatts and covers 10 square kilometers.
2. Output levels can be affected by weather conditions. Solar farms must be installed in regions where there is abundant sunlight available. When cloud cover obscures the sunlight, then energy production becomes limited. Facilities that have excess shade levels are also impacted in a negative way. Without storage capabilities at the solar farm, the actual energy levels being produced at the facility can become inconsistent. That impacts all the homes and businesses which rely on this power source for their daily energy needs.
These solar farm pros and cons show us that there is a lot of potential with this technology. It may also require extra space and have added costs with it that may be difficult to meet. If we make the investment into solar, however, there is a good chance that future generations will be able to experience a happier and healthier planet.
The Largest Solar Farm In The World
As of July 2020, the largest solar farm in the world is Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan desert region of India.
The solar farm covers a mammoth 10,000 acres. It has an energy generating capacity of 2,245 MW, or 2.2 gigawatts. It is nearly four times the capacity of Americas current biggest solar farm, Solar Star.
The 2.2 GW Bhadla Solar Park is on the fringes of the Thar Desert in India temperatures there go up to 126 degrees Fahrenheit.
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