by Caroline Kirby
Property owners across the country have been turning to solar power systems for various reasons, but two great ones include lowering your carbon footprint and boosting your property’s value. Regardless of your reasons, turning to solar power could be a great decision for your property.
Many commercial property owners are turning their empty land into solar farms.
Solar Farms Explained
Solar farms (aka solar parks and solar fields) are large-scale application of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate green, clean electricity at scale, usually to feed into the grid. They can span anywhere from 1 to 100 acres and are usually found in rural areas.
Things to Consider
Solar power systems provide economic and environmental incentives and as the cost of renewable energy comes down there’s no better time to get into solar energy, but here are some questions to consider when making a decision.
- Does your land have good solar exposure? Ideal land for successful solar energy ventures is flat, located in an area with high levels of sun, does not have too many trees (shade will reduce the output), and has southern exposure. For a quick look to see if your land is a good match use a PV watts calculator.
- Do you have time? While the final product is well worth it, developing a solar farm, even smaller ones, require a lot of planning and a lot of time. If you’re looking for faster turnaround on your investment then this may not be the venture for you. Permitting, financing, and construction can keep your solar farm in production for 2-5 years.
- Is your land near existing transmission infrastructure? High voltage transmission lines or substations located near your land could save you substantially by cutting out the need to build extra transmission infrastructure. If you haven’t bought land yet consider this factor when searching for properties.
- Will local utilities buy the power from your farm? Finding a great property that fits all the criteria means nothing if you don’t have customers. Call around to regional utility or large commercial properties in the area and see if they’re looking for solar energy.
- Can you maintain the farm? In order to efficiently maintain your solar panels you’ll need land that’s near water resources as you’ll have to do regular rinsing to keep dust away, you’ll need man power to remove leaves and debris in the fall, equipment for removing any ice or snow in the winter, and you can’t forget annual inspections! Solar energy is worth the hassle, but it isn’t maintenance-free. Keep this in mind when considering options for your land.
The world is moving to cleaner and safer energy sources so if you have an ideal property for solar, why not go for it? The process is long and requires lots of documentation, but the end result is well worth it.
Here are some great properties featured on LandHub that may be a great starting point for solar farms.
- Massive California ranch.
- North Carolina land with no building restrictions.
- Various properties around Nevada near water sources.
- Former farm in the hills of New York.
When you’re ready to start shopping around you can browse our properties here. At LandHub, we offer thousands of resources and listings if you’re looking for land chances are we have it.
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