With electricity becoming a valuable asset for most of us in today’s time, a recent shift can be observed which has opened up various options for green energy mechanisms.
Due to this shift, many green and clean energy sources are being chosen for the sake of sustainable development and reducing the carbon footprint for a better future.
One such example is solar energy, or the energy formed using Sunlight and photovoltaic panels. The trend is not recent but has seen a major boom in the solar panel industry, which has now become a major player in the green energy segment.
With various categories available, one of the most renowned methods of utilizing solar energy is the installation of solar farms.
These are large-size photovoltaic panels installed on a large area of land or roof, used to produce electricity and energy using additional equipment.
With a lot of talk around the benefits of installing a solar farm, we also come to discuss whether in the wake of a huge upfront cost and delayed return on investment, can a solar farm really make money.
In this article, we would be addressing this question and also discussing the types of solar farms, the pros & cons, and the factors you need to keep in mind to turn your solar farm profitable.
Types of Solar Farms
There are several kinds of solar farms, however, the major ones include Utility and Community. Let us learn about them.
Utility Solar Farms
These are probably the largest-sized solar farms that you would ever come across. Their capacity may even reach up to 2,000 MW, acquiring a huge area of land. They mainly distribute the energy further to industries or utility companies.
Community Solar Farms
These farms are smaller in size as compared to Utility Solar Farms, and are usually only for the distribution of energy to the limited number of subscribers who pay a monthly or annual charge for consumption.
Neither of these solar farms is better than the other, but to suit your individual needs, you can assess their benefits.
Solar Farm: Pros & Cons
- Green Energy: A solar farm is not only a great investment for lowering your electricity consumption and saving money, but is also helpful in creating a greener future and contributing to sustainable development. As many natural resources are nearing their end, it is crucial to make the switch to other methods of energy production.
- Profitable in the longer run: It is obvious that utilizing solar power in a solar farm is profitable in the longer run, as you do not have to pay monthly electricity bills or surcharges. Eventually, with options like net metering, you can also save electricity for future consumption.
- Government incentives: With the upcoming revolution in green energy and important considerations among the G7 nations, the world is also making a political shift to solar power. Thus, many Government incentives are also available.
- Huge upfront cost: One of the biggest upsets of the solar farm is the amount of cost it requires in the beginning for setting up the farm. You can expect to spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up a solar farm.
- Weather conditions: Another reason why solar farms may not be feasible for everyone is due to different weather conditions. A solar farm requires sunlight throughout the year and may not work its best in places where adequate sunlight is not ensured.
- Space: A major compromising factor is the requirement of a massive area of land for installing and constructing a solar farm. With this, it becomes difficult to not only obtain permissions but also add to the installation cost.
How Can a Solar Farm Make Money?
Let us now address the question, how can a solar farm make money?
It is crucial to understand that there are certain factors that you need to think about and plan over before you can start your own solar farm. If these factors are dealt with in an efficient manner, it is much more likely that your solar farm can turn profitable really soon.
The land is the biggest factor when it comes to the installation of solar panels in a solar farm. Solar farms, especially Utility Solar Farms are massive projects, that would require several acres of land at the very least.
Time Needed for Construction
The average time depending on the area of construction and equipment needed to be installed can range anywhere from 10 months to 1-2 years. The process of taking approvals and permission can add a few more months to this duration.
It is ideal that the area covered by solar panels has access to sunlight throughout the year. Although a few weeks or months of clouds do not make a much difference, it cannot be ignored that without adequate sunlight, it is unlikely that your solar farm can turn profitable.
Thus, it must be ensured that you decide the location of the solar farm strategically to ensure sufficient sunlight throughout the year. Look for any obstructions and average weather conditions in your area before taking the decision.
You cannot ignore the factor of the nature of the soil when seeking to build a solar farm. Most solar farms have to incur a massive cost at the beginning is also because of the unstable land and soil.
Many manufacturers have to clear out the land and remove debris or make the land even to suit the favorable conditions to place solar panels.
Lease, Taxes, and Permissions
A great way to ensure a profitable solar farm is to eliminate the biggest cost involved. By leasing the property or space to install solar panels, you not only save yourself from the expense but also from the requirement of looking for an appropriate insurance policy.
Thus, by considering the right factors and lowering your upfront cost, a solar farm can indeed make money and turn profitable sooner than expected.
It is crucial to understand that green energy is the future, and it does not seem to be a volatile market as the demands are only expected to rise.
The future of energy lies majorly in solar farms, and thus, building your own solar farm can be a great way to make a reasonable investment for your future. Look for the right developer and explore more in the option of net metering to make the most out of it.