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What is a Solar Farm and How Does it Work?

By July 13, 2021Blog
Aerial view of large solar farm set in agricultural land with green pastures and buildings in the background.

Those interested in commercial and industrial solar in California may have heard the term “solar farm” before but may not know how the term relates to solar installations in general. Today, we wanted to take a closer look at solar farms and what the phrase refers to, as well as how owners can start making plans for a solar farm on their property.

What is a Solar Farm and How Does It Work?

A solar farm is a collection of solar panels that converts sunlight to electricity that can be sent to customers throughout an electric grid. This is also referred to as “utility-scale” or “large-scale” solar, although some types of solar farms can be smaller as well. While a solar farm can provide energy for the owner of the installation, it is generally designed to provide as much power for the grid as possible.

What Specifically Makes it a Solar Farm?

The phrase solar farm is not very technical and can be used to describe many kinds of larger solar systems. However, it’s commonly used to describe panels that are installed on the ground, instead of on the top of a roof or over a parking lot, etc. Ground-based solar systems can be very efficient, often have lower installation costs, and are generally easier to maintain.

Note that solar farms do not need to be agricultural solar energy systems. However, the open spaces and empty lots associated with farmland and similar geography are often the best places for solar farms, so they are frequently seen in these areas.

How Do You Start a Solar Farm?

Partner with a solar energy company in California like Coldwell Solar and begin working on development plans. Solar systems are versatile and can be designed to accommodate a variety of spaces and landscapes. With plans made, you can then set a construction date and prepare for the transition.

Can Owners Make Money From a Solar Farm?

Solar farms can help facilities save a significant amount of money on electricity costs and can even be used to power adjacent activities like irrigation systems if there are no nearby facilities. Additionally, a solar farm can sell excess electricity to utilities to help generate cash. Creating and sending electricity to a grid can also help create benefits like solar credits which can help meet organizational goals or be traded on the market to generate additional cash.

Where is a Good Potential Location for a Solar Farm?

An unused lot or field with no plans for future development is the ideal location for a solar farm. There is no specific size for a lot to be a viable solar installation location, but larger systems will need more space. If you own a lot that might be a potential location for a solar farm, we can help you analyze how suitable it might be, and what sort of production levels an installation could provide.

If you are interested in a solar farm or similar installation, Coldwell Solar is the commercial solar company that can partner with you from the consultation process through construction and maintenance. Contact us for more information on commercial solar energy solutions in California and what type of project will fit your goals.

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