Solar panel systems on rooftops that collect solar energy for individual homes are becoming more common as more homeowners understand their monetary and environmental value. Commercial and community use of solar energy is also growing across the US in the form of solar farming.
A farm is a plot of land used for a specific purpose, such as agriculture production or raising and breeding animals. A solar farm is a large plot of land covered in large-scale solar panels to produce power from the sun’s energy and supply that energy to an electrical grid.
Solar farms may also be referred to as solar power plants or PV power stations. Photovoltaics (PV) are ground-mounted solar panel systems that absorb energy from sunlight, and that energy is then converted into electricity through semiconducting materials.
Solar Farming – Selling Energy
Farming in its basic form is working the ground to produce something consumable or sellable. Solar farming consists of using the land to collect and sell energy in a whole new way! There are two types of solar farms: utility-scale and community farms.
Utility-Scale Solar Farming
A utility-scale farm sells energy to wholesale buyers at fixed prices. Working as a middle man, these farms don’t sell directly to consumers. However, there are occasions when a large IT company or major retailer needs solar energy for a specific project and enters into a power purchase agreement with a utility-scale solar farm.
Community Solar Farming
Sometimes called community solar gardens, these farms provide power for a small group of homes or an area that has access to the energy from the panels. These farms are much smaller than utility-scale solar farms. Community solar is a purchasing program selling to individual customers.
Customers buy or lease a portion of the solar panels in the community farm, then receive a bill for the electrical energy they use from the solar energy system. These community solar farms are an excellent option for people who cannot install solar panels on their homes but want to use solar energy; they’ve become a popular option for communities looking to take advantage of Texas solar.
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There is profit potential in solar farming. The Impact Investor estimates solar farming can profit about $7828.45 per acre each year and the average solar farm typically needs to have about 6 -8 acres. An average solar farm can potentially produce annual revenue of about $43,500.
Various factors will impact these profits, such as the size and location of the farm, panel type, financing, maintenance, operation, and of course, marketing. As with any product, a business must make sales to profit. In addition, establishing a solar farm is not a fast process. Acquiring land, equipment, installation, permits, and contracts can take 3-5 years; but more and more communities and businesses are starting to pursue solar farming.
Solar Farming For the Future
The future is promising for solar farming. Solar farms produce clean energy and use minimal water, making them a highly sustainable and economical energy source.
If you’re in the Houston area and interested in establishing a solar farm, contact Sunshine Renewable Solutions online or call 832-280-8838!
Sunshine Renewable Solutions is a leading solar company in Texas offering commercial and residential solar solutions.