Keeping Your Panels Clean
Solar panels make energy from sunlight and the more sunlight that gets to them, the more they will produce. If they are covered with dirt or leaves, this will reduce their effectiveness and could even damage the cells. Keeping them clean and well maintained ensures they work at maximum capacity.
Google did some research into the benefits of cleaning their solar panels at their office in California and found that clean panels increased output by 36%.
The Lifespan Of Your Panels
Solar panels are durable and designed to withstand being out in all weather for a long time. Generally speaking, a solar panel will last around 30-40 years, but will have declining efficiency levels after around 25 years. Expect a drop of around 0.5% in efficiency every year. The inverters, which transform the energy produced into the AC power, generally have a shorter lifespan of around 15 years.
Keeping your inverter up to date and working efficiently will help you to make the most of your solar panels.
Ways To Invest In And Start A Solar Farm Business In 2022
It shouldnt come as a surprise that The Kickass Entrepreneur is writing about how to start a solar energy farm. It combines some of Jeffs favorite investments: real assets, infrastructure, renewable energy, and a steady stream of reliable cash flow. He has also mentioned earning passive income even by just doing surveys such as in Prize Rebel, Survey Junkie, and Swagbucks.
Australia is known for its abundant supply of sunshine. Brian Kelso from BSK Data & Electrical Pty Ltd, a local Sydney electrician, said that he has seen many homes in residential areas go from having power bills in excess of over $1000 per billing cycle to actually earning money from the power of the sun instead.
Real assets can be a rather complex topic. If you dont have time to dive into it you can always employ the help of an essay writer from EssayWritingService or similar websites.
But heres a short version: a real asset is a physical asset that an investor or business owns and is value-generating. Some examples of real assets include:
Areal asset is a physical asset that an investor or business owns and is value-generating. Some examples of real assets include:
Investing in a solar energy farm has the following benefits:
There has been rapid growth in the solar industry over the last 10 years.
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Utility Fees For Solar Hookups
Unfortunately, you may still get dinged for demand charges from a utility. These are fees imposed just to keep you connected to the grid, regardless of whether you use power from it at all. Many building codes require a backup in case a solar system fails. Other utilities argue that having fewer people on the grid increases rates across the board since they cant sell at high enough of a scale. Additional fees help the make up that difference so electrical rates for all customers can stay lower, in theory.
The legitimacy of those arguments is open to debate, but many solar power evangelists see these as cynical means of pushing back on the solar trend thats threatening the bottom line of entrenched energy utilities shackled to dirty power.
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What To Ask The Developer When Leasing Your Land For A Solar Farm
Its important to be fully aware of the implications of a solar land lease and maintain an honest, transparent relationship with the solar developer. Every situation is unique and every landowner will have their own questions and concerns when speaking with a solar developer, but there are some common questions that we recommend asking of every prospective developer.
Have you worked in this state before?
Can you provide references for landowners you have worked with in the past?
Which specific portions of the land are being leased?
How will the leased portions impact the rest of the land?
How long is the solar land lease?
How is rent calculated?
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What Do Solar Farms Look Like
A solar farm is a large solar field that can be anywhere from ten acres to hundreds of acres in size. It must be on flat, cleared land with minimal wetlands and within close proximity to three-phase power and a transmission substation. Rows upon rows of solar panels, typically mounted on racking systems, are then strategically placed to make the most of the unused farm or commercial land. These solar panels can also be part of working farms as they pose no danger to people, livestock or agricultural crops on adjacent fields.
Step : Open A Business Bank Account & Credit Card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get and other financing in your business’s name , better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term “net-30,” which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus . This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
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What Are Solar Farms For And Who Really Benefits
To put it simply, pretty much everyone involved in the process. Solar farms are an investment in a future that not only calls for cleaner technology but also requires that we make the most of an increasingly crowded planet. They are usually built as a response to state-level initiatives to support clean energy goals and create healthier communities with access to affordable energy.
Solar farms are a win-win as they enable landowners to make money off of unused land, serve residents with access to better utility rates, and help states tackle energy and environmental targets. For example, New York has committed to reducing emissions by 40% by 2030 and to only generate electricity through carbon-free sources like wind and solar by 2040.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Solar Farm
According to the Solar Energy Industry Association’s average national cost figures in Q1 2021, solar farm installation costs are typically between $0.77- 1.32 per watt. That means that a 1 megawatt solar farm would cost between $770,000 and $1.32 million.
To break it down by size, one acre of solar panels produces about 351 MWh of electrical energy per year and the installation cost for 1 acre of solar panels is about $450,000.
The bottom line is that starting a solar farm is going to cost a lot of money, so you will likely need to secure financing.
Traditional banks, online lenders and a variety of other sources are available to fund an enterprise like this. Check out my ultimate guide to starting a business, to learn more about specific financing options that may be available to you.
If you want some federal assistance to help defray the costs of your solar farm, you can also apply for government grants. The federal government currently offers 3 photovoltaics grants. They are the USDAs Rural Energy for America Program grants, the Tribal Energy Program grant, and the USDAs High Energy Cost Grant program.
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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
You should also consider subscribing to our blog. We publish one article a week on small business and wealth creation. You can subscribe here.
Also, we published a book during the summer of 2018, The Kickass Entrepreneurs Guide to Investing, Three Simple Steps to Create Massive Wealth with Your Businesss Profits. It was number 1 on Amazon in both the business and non-fiction sections. You can get a free copy here.
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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 don’t 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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Key Takeaways About Solar Farms
- A solar farm is generally a large-scale solar installation. Solar farms are most often community solar projects or utility-scale solar power plants.
- Solar farms usually consist of hundreds to thousands of solar panels installed in a large field.
- Interested in joining a solar farm? Check out community solar projects near you on the EnergySage Marketplace to start saving on electricity.
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Farms
How profitable is a solar farm?
The profitability of a solar farm varies substantially based on its size and the cost of electricity in the area where its built. You can estimate the potential profitability of a solar farm by multiplying the average wholesale market rate of solar electricity in your area by the farms size . Just be sure to account for the upfront and maintenance costs associated with the farm or if youre renting land in your solar calculations as well.
Are solar farms bad?
While solar farms are effective forms of renewable energy, the construction and installation of them can have a negative impact on the environment due to the space needed for a solar farm, the materials and energy required to produce solar panels, how to dispose of solar panels when they are replaced and even contaminated groundwater due to the maintenance requirements of a solar panel farm. When constructed properly, however, solar farms can be completely safe for the environment especially if theyre constructed on landfills or other types of land that arent pristine.
How much electricity does one acre of solar panels produce?
This is largely dependent on the efficiency of the solar panels, the geographical location, and the amount of sunlight the panels are exposed to. Landowners and companies that maintain a solar panel farm can expect several hundred MWh/year for one acre of solar panels.
How do solar farms look?
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How Much Do Solar Farm Leases Pay
Landowners who rent out their land for a solar farm can earn between $250 and $3,000 per acre a year, according to top solar land lease websites.
This is an option for those who dont want to build their own solar farm, but rather lend out their property to an external solar developer.
You might be wondering why theres such a big range of lease rates. Its because there are many different factors based on where you area which can affect the going price for a land leases these include:
- Land prices in your area
- Electricity transmission infrastructure near your land
- Substitute uses of your land
- Demand for renewable energy in your state
- State and municipal incentives to solar farm operators
In short, the amount you can earn by leasing out your land for a solar farm really depends on market conditions in your area.
Agreements are generally long-term, between 15 and 20 years, with options to extend for as long as 50 years. They also include annual escalators 1.5 to 2.5% to account for inflation.
Some developers even offer to pay for the leases as a large upfront payment.
Key Takeaways On Solar Farm Land Requirements
Farmers, ranchers, and landowners in search of a predictable way to receive passive income should determine if they meet the solar farm land requirements for leasing a solar project on their property.
The advantages gained from satisfying the minimum of 6-8 acres of solar-ready land per megawatt needed to construct the smallest of community solar farms may outweigh any disadvantages as detailed in this article.
One hundred sixty or more acres would satisfy the solar farm land requirements for a larger utility-scale solar power station.
But each case is unique. Search out legal advice before going all in.
With our top 7 tips for farmers concerning solar leasing after youve met the solar farm land requirements, youll be well on your way as a partner in a quintuple win/business opportunity for you, the solar developer, the public utility, consumers, and the planet.
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How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A Solar Farm
Installation costs are often quoted at between $0.80 and $1.36 per solar watt installed, but Im not sure where these figures come from. Its generally known that solar farm installation costs are less then half than domestic solar costs, which are well under $3/solar watt in the US.
Its probably safe to assume $1/watt as an average figure, making our calculation easier. For a solar farm minimum size of 1mW it will cost about $1 million for the physical installation of panels and all associated equipment.
Basic cost of setting up equipment for a 1mW solar farm = $1 million.
Add another 15% to 20% to this if single axis solar tracking equipment is needed to maximize output. Its rare to have dual-axis tracking on solar farms due to the poorer ROI associated with it.
Solar farm installation cost including single-axis sun tracking = $1.2 million
Associated permits and licenses = $5000
Hook up to grid = $3000 to $10000 .
Software to coordinate and manage solar strings = $3000
Ongoing maintenance = $20/kw x 10000kW = $20000/year
More resources relating to making money with solar farms:
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What Is A Solar Panel Farm
There are two main types of solar farms:
Solar photovoltaic power stations A number of solar panels are installed together to create a power plant.
CSP or Concentrated Solar Projects Mirrors are used as solar modules to reflect the sun into a central collector to absorb energy.
Either way, the solar power is connected by power line into an electricity grid, or power grid, owned by a utility company.
From those basic descriptions, solar farms differ in scale and purpose. See below:
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Can I Start My Own Solar Farm
Any registered citizen can start their own solar farm. First of all, solar farms are set up as a business, so normal business startup costs apply i.e. licensing, permits, insurance and others.
A solar farm is a big technical undertaking and is normally carried out by a reputable solar company. While the actual installation of a small to medium size solar farm can be done in about 6 months, the permits and licences to run it can take longer. Its best to apply 18 months before you envisage beginning the work.
In the first instance, contact a good solar installer, who can streamline the permit application process and handle all aspects of a new solar farm, including giving guidance on grants and loans in your area.
How much does it cost to maintain a solar farm?
Industry research gives figures of between $15 to $25 per kW per year. At and average of $20/kW, a 5mW solar farm would cost $100000 to run.
How Many Solar Panels Will I Need
In order to make sure youll be able to meet the expected energy demand with your solar farm, youll need to first start with the needed kilowatt hours of energy and work backward to get a number of panels youll need for the array. To calculate this figure, youll need to determine the solar panel production ratio for your area to understand how much energy a certain solar panel wattage will provide. Check out our full explanation on how to do this type of calculation.
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Permits Can Take Time
It may take 3-5 years for the permits and siting requirements for your solar farm to be satisfied. The land must be eligible for building these types of structures, so check your local zoning office to make sure you can do this.
You must submit your plans to federal, state, and local regulators. It can be a complicated process, so you may want to hire a lawyer to help you navigate through it.
Your business must also consider water rights, land use, and how to access and transmit solar energy prior to applying for permits. If you want to use federal land for your solar farm, you must get approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.