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Guide to Building a Small Solar Farm

By December 18, 2022Blog, News
Aerial view of a solar farm among green rolling hills in Petaluma, California.

During the pandemic, many industries changed their business trends and moved from non-renewable to renewable energies. As a result, solar energy-supplying businesses have recently increased and become popular worldwide. Solar energy contributes to the well-being of the atmosphere and provides energy without damaging the environment.

If you have some acres of land or are willing to start a profitable business, you should start a solar panel farm on a small scale and then extend it according to your business needs. Here’s everything you need to know to start a small solar farm.

What Is A Solar Panel Farm?

Solar panel farms are where photovoltaic (PV) panels are placed on the grounds to utilize the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. The electricity is distributed among power grids to make electricity available to consumers. These solar panel farms are also called solar parks and photovoltaic power stations.

Following are the two types of solar farms:

Utility Scale

A utility-scale solar farm is a large-scale farm producing around 50 MW of solar energy and more. They distribute solar energy among large organizations, facilities, and utility buyers across the city via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

A purchase Power Agreement is a long-term settlement between the power purchaser and supplier. It outlines the terms of the contract, including the price, amount of electricity to be supplied, sanctions for non-compliance, and much more.

Community Solar Farms

Community solar farms produce around 5MW of energy on small-scale farms. These farms enable small enterprises and organizations to earn a credit on their electricity bills for the energy generated by their solar arrays, thereby reducing their electricity expenses.

Benefits of a Small-Scale Solar Farm

1. They are Eco-Friendly

Solar farms are eco-friendly. Solar power doesn’t use any material such as fossil fuels, making it safer for the environment to generate electricity. Using reviewable resources can help reduce expenses and contribute to the planet’s well-being.

2. Solar Energy is Always Available

Solar Energy is always accessible everywhere in the world. Unlike other energy sources, you will never run out of sunlight, which is needed to run solar farms.

As long as there is a sun, you can use solar energy. This implies you have at least 5 billion years before the sun dies, according to scientists.

3. Solar Farms Maximize Efficiency

Solar panels can change their direction according to the light, which makes them more effective and efficient.

4. High Return on Investment

Solar powered energy projects are more profitable when it comes to returning on investment as it’s a one-time investment, and you barely need to do any more investments once it is set up.

5. No Noise Pollution

Solar panel farms produce no noise at all. This makes it easier to set up solar farms at various locations as you no longer have to worry about neighbors complaining about loud noise, as with other sources of electricity production.

6. Allow the Land to Be Used for Other Purposes

Solar farm land can be utilized for purposes other than only capturing solar energy. You can use it for agricultural purposes as well. You can also keep animals on the farm.

7. Easy to Maintain

Solar farms often require little to no maintenance. The only maintenance needed is to keep the farm clean, so you must ensure thorough cleaning of the farm a few times a year. Reliable solar panel producers often offer a 20–25 year warranty. Additionally, there is no wear and tear since there are no moving parts. The only component that usually has to be updated after 5 to 10 years is the inverter because it continuously works to transform solar energy into power and heat.

Therefore, maintenance is necessary for the cables and the inverter to ensure your solar energy system functions as intended.

Things to Consider Before Setting Up A Solar Farm

Reach out to a Solar Specialist

Before starting a solar panel business, you should consult a solar specialist for all the technical guidance. Hiring a consultant can save you from many hurdles, such as documentation, license, and requirements. Having a professional by your side will keep you informed of all the essential stuff that is a prerequisite of starting your business, so you don’t face any losses.

Get License and Permits

Right after a consultant, you will need approvals from authorities to generate and supply electricity. All the work should be done legally and well documented. A solar consultant can also help in this regard by guiding you about the permits, certifications, and licenses you need to start a solar farm.

Get the Idea of Land

with the land is one of the most important things you need to consider when setting up a solar farm. A consultant would give you a fair idea of how the land should be. The land must be exposed to the direct sun most of the time of year. It shouldn’t have many trees as they might cover the panels from the sun.

Steps To Building A Small Solar Farm

1. Know Your Competition

Entering a business market without knowing your competition can lead you to enormous losses, as you wouldn’t be able to set your goals effectively if you don’t know the price and capacity of the competitor. Knowing your competitor will help you recognize their strength and weaknesses ending up improving yours.

2. Get Your Certificate

Before starting a business, you should get the permits of the responsible authorities to avoid any legal action or hurdle in the business. It is essential to get certification from the authorities and collect all documents.

Get in touch with a company that can look into installing solar panels and take care of all the documentation and legalities.

3. Determine Your Target Market

Businesses should have a fair idea of their targeted audience here. You must determine the power production capacity and supply it according to your clients.

4. Register Your Business

Once you are done with all the planning, a tax specialist will guide you through the registration process so that you have your taxes right and can officially market your presence.

5. Hire Employees

You will need employees to work for the station. You will need a manager, solar consultants, maintenance professionals, and customer service representatives. You will need people to run your solar farm.

6. Show Your Presence

Once you get in the market and have started your business, it is your time to show your presence in the market. Let others know about your business by promoting yourself on social media, print media, or local media.

How Long Does It Take To Construct A Solar Farm

The time of the construction depends on the size of your solar farm and how many workers are there to work. Another factor that impacts the timing of the project is finances. The installation of panels barely takes time, but the other process, such as documentation and other legal formalities, is time-consuming. With the help of a consultant, you can speed up the process. It might take 4 to 5 years to get all the necessary work done.

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Farms and Solar Panels

Why Should I Consider A Commercial Solar Panel Farm?

Besides all the environmental benefits, solar panel farming is a profitable business with low maintenance and high return.

Do We Have To Move Panels When The Sun Goes To Another Side?

No, you don’t have to do the effort. Panels themselves will move their selves and arrange according to the sun.

Can Solar Panels Generate Electricity When The Sun Isn’t Out?

No, solar energy production currently relies on sunlight and is limited to daytime electricity production. Additional external factors like clouds and shade may impact the generation capacity of a system. Any additional energy created can be stored and used later if combined with an energy storage system instead of being used immediately.

How Much Does Solar Farm Produce Energy Per Year?

Over 1 acre of land generates sufficient solar power for about 200 houses.

Reach Out to Coldwell Solar for Solar Farm Solutions

With time, we are moving towards renewable energy resources, such as solar energy, to protect the environment. Solar farms are a golden opportunity for people who want to start a business as it’s profitable and eco-friendly, which is a win-win situation. There is a one-time investment in the solar power field, and the return is enormous for a lifetime.

Reach out to Coldwell Solar for reliable solar farm installations.

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