Before we start talking about how to build your own solar farm, it’s important to understand what it is exactly. As you can tell by the name, a solar farm is a large swath of land with solar panels installed. The purpose of a solar farm is to generate electricity on a large scale, much like a natural gas power plant.
To build a solar farm, you’ll need at least 5-8 acres of land. Yes, that’s a sizable investment. The requirement of this large an area is just so that energy generation is sustainable and has commercial potential. A land of 30 to 60 acres of land has a much greater commercial potential to state the obvious.
The amount of land area you can own of course depends on where you live. States like New York cap land ownership to five acres per person or enterprise. However, many other states are now seeing the potential of solar farming and are therefore changing the land area ownership cap.
You should know that not all types of land are suited for solar farming. The land should have plenty of sunlight all round the year. It also must be in the plainlands so it is easier to install and maintain solar equipment.
Now that we’ve gone over the prerequisites, let’s get down to actually building a solar farm. Usually, it takes approximately 2 to 3 years but it may take longer considering how long contract negotiations last, the weather conditions, and how long it takes to connect the farm to the national electrical grid.
Phase 1 that includes buying the land, finalizing the initial design and taking approvals can take anywhere between one and four years.
Phase 2 that includes engineering, procurement, and construction of the solar farm can take around a year to get completed and phase 3, in which the farm is connected to the grid again can between two months and a year.
Make sure the contractor you hire is an expert in this field. Solar installation is a technical discipline so don’t forget to vet your contractor and ask them hard questions.
Some of the things you can ask are what erosion control measures they will set up, what are the stormwater management controls they have in mind, and how exactly will they set up the site for construction.