Author Topic: How do you plan/build a solar farm?  (Read 1161 times)

Brokefuturedoctor

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How do you plan/build a solar farm?
« on: July 13, 2017, 04:43:44 AM »
Hello everyone,

Hypothetically, if I a plot of land, maybe out in the country somewhere, how would I go about establishing a solar farm on the property?

1) Does it need to be zoned for industrial use?
2) How do I figure out how much energy it would really generate?
3) Is it easiest to just ask a solar company to come out and evaluate the land for #2?

Let me know if you have input/advice! Thanks!

marty998

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Re: How do you plan/build a solar farm?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 04:51:01 AM »
Not sure the legalities but in the meantime you could solve some maths...

- Work out how many kwh each panel produces per hour.
- Bell curve it (peak around early afternoon when the sun is high, lower production during the afternoon.
- multiply by how many panels you can line up in an array
- multiply by how many arrays you can fit on your plot of land.

Deduct cleaning and polishing costs. Specks of dirt will quickly start to erase your profit margins!

Hopefully you don't have to be zoned like a coal fired power station...

Brokefuturedoctor

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Re: How do you plan/build a solar farm?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 05:27:02 AM »
Thanks Marty, I think the numbers are a great place to start to see if it would even be worth pursuing on a financial level. To my knowledge, Virginia doesn't offer a lot of green or solar tax benefits or grants.

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: How do you plan/build a solar farm?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 09:03:21 PM »
The key player here is the utility to which you'd need to connect. Without them, how would power get to customers? Do you have any in VA that support this kind of  idea?

Our local Public Utility District has done a couple of community solar projects where people invested to make it happen, but I don't know what kind of investments that's turned out to be so far.