2-5 acre Solar Farm

Hello,
We have about 10 acres of land and we are looking to setup a solar farm.

What permits do we need to be able to setup a 2-5+ acre solar farm?
Is it mostly on the local level?

And does our land need a particular type of zoning to set one up?

Thank you so much!

Comments

  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that each acre of PV could produce ~250 kW or more power at mid-day. Assuming you're considering a grid-interactive system, I would think that you'd want to start your planning by talking with your local electric utility company.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    And your local bank, since that much PV panel will run you in the $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 range.
  • RoderickRoderick Solar Expert Posts: 253 ✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    Hi,

    Just checking, are you in the United States? I haven't heard of any ordinary citizens setting up solar farms, possibly because there isn't enough government subsidy to make a profit? And if there isn't a profit, I'd expect it's near impossible to get financing.

    The few farms I've heard of here seem to be more experimental, put together with one-time special funding.

    Someday, as solar gets cheaper and other energy gets more expensive, solar farms will make sense here. It's my hope that the day is sooner rather than later.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    consider wind power as well and if you're serious you will need to be sure of your funds and product availability for everything. there may also be some possible help from the state with rebates. check on it at: www.dsireusa.org
    as mentioned you'd be selling to the electric company and under state and federal rules so by all means check in with them and quite possibly local rules as well. odds are you won't be using that much land for power purposes due to costs, but small scale is feasable. don't count on getting rich from this either.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm


    I think yall scared him off

    brad
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    no we didn't. reality did.
    this is reality:
    "small scale is feasable.(costwise) don't count on getting rich from this either."
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    Hello Everyone! Thanks for all the great replies.

    Here are some answers to your questions:
    -We are connected with the owner of the manufacturing company of the solar panels
    and he will provide the all the panels.
    -Land is free and clear
    -Financing is not a major issue.
    -The land is in So. California.

    We are trying to determine if we should have it interconnected with
    the utility company or if we will provide directly to the the houses and future houses in the area.

    Also, we are trying to figure out what permits are needed so we can start on them
    since it usually takes time to get them.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    a private municipal electric company still must go through the state involved no matter if alone or grid tied. their rules and regulations must be followed. you don't want somebody falsely making claims against you because you didn't go through the state do you? i can see it now: my tv i bought 3 years ago worked fine until i plugged in xyz solar power and it hasn't worked since. meanwhile it probably failed on its own, but you can't prove it wasn't your fault because you are operating outside of the state's watchful and pita eyes and maybe not following nec rules either.
    this does sound good without having to worry of pv costs. maybe go visit a utility out that way that has a solar farm to see how they handle things as well. you might even get some free advice from them from their prospectives.
    keep us abreast of any happenings as well.
  • SolarJohnSolarJohn Solar Expert Posts: 202 ✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    Just curious MMB:

    For an operation of this size, how do you plan to store power in order to provide it when the sun isn't shining?

    John
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    I think you're going to need to talk with at least four organizations:

    1) Local electricity utility; i.e. Southern California Edison
    SCE home page: http://www.sce.com/
    SCE Self Generation Initiative: http://www.sce.com/RebatesandSavings/SelfGenerationIncentiveProgram/
    CA Statewide info on self-generation projects: http://www.sce.com/NR/rdonlyres/68C6880C-1222-4D64-9A33-8C317BEA6555/0/SGIP_Statewide_Data_Apr07_web.xls

    2) California Public Utilities Commission: http://www.sce.com/NR/rdonlyres/68C6880C-1222-4D64-9A33-8C317BEA6555/0/SGIP_Statewide_Data_Apr07_web.xls

    3) California Energy Commission: http://www.energy.ca.gov/

    4) The county in which the property is located.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm
    SolarJohn wrote:
    Just curious MMB:

    For an operation of this size, how do you plan to store power in order to provide it when the sun isn't shining?

    John

    this is a very good question if you intend on being independant of the utilities rather than supplement them by going grid tie. the amount of battery storage needed would be astronomical.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    I smell a MM ( multilevel marketing ) scam ...

    Money is always the core issue, for any business ... no one is just going to fork over 500kw of solar panels ...

    If it walks, talks, quacks like a duck ....

    IMHO of course :roll:

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    Hello Everyone!
    Thanks for the replies!

    Thanks for the great links, crewzer.

    "For an operation of this size, how do you plan to store power in order to provide it when the sun isn't shining?"
    - To tell you the truth we havent gotten that far, do you have any suggestions? Frankly, thats why Im here asking questions to figure out how to just get things started.

    Some people may not believe that we have the materials and funds, but we do, we just don't have the
    know how of how to do something of this scale....which is why Im here asking questions.

    Id rather keep asking stupid questions than not ask any questions at all and pass up on an opportunity to
    explore the possibilities.

    I apologize if my lack of knowledge bothers or offends anyone.

    Im sincerely here to just get some answers.

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    You will be a major utility, likely something the ISO (independent system operator) might call a "peaker plant" but you you would run nearly every day.

    You will likely have to build/provide a sub-station, to boost your paltry 440V to 60KV or thereabouts, to get into the distribution system. You will need a competent Electrical Utility engineer to take the blame when something goes wrong.

    Look at the Plant in Springerville, Arizona http://www.greenwatts.com/pages/SolarOutput.asp to get an idea of the scale, and how they installed +4MW plant.

    You will have to market and sell your electricity for maybe 2 or 3 cents per KWH, so the rest of the industry can rape the consumer.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: 2-5 acre Solar Farm

    MMB,

    Can you give us more details of your plans? Are you wanting to make a small community of the grid completely?

    I think your best option is not to store the energy but supply it back to the grid. Now if you really wanted to build a community off the grid there isn't many options that I know of.

    Here are a couple that comes to mind, you would have to build some sort of lake and pump water to a higher potential during the day and turn turbines during the night. But now you have major losses.

    Another option is to force everyone in the community to supply their own storage, so each house would have to provide a battery bank that gets charged during the day.

    Philip
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