Street view of solar farm next to house and trees

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a solar farm?

A solar farm is a site that hosts a large quantity of ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. A solar farm can be really large (100+ acres) or relatively small (10+ acres). Small solar farms typically generate between 2 and 20 megawatts (MW) of solar energy. A 2 MW solar farm is typically located on approximately 20 acres and can power between 500 and more than 600 homes.

What is considered suitable land for a solar farm?

We consider land of 10-15 continuous acres that is not currently in use as potentially suitable for a solar farm development. We assess the property for compatibility with utility infrastructure and proximity to a power station. We note the topography of the land and avoid any wetlands. Our land evaluations also consider all potential agricultural, environmental and wildlife concerns and attempt to leave as much of the existing vegetation in place as possible. We discuss with landowners their future plans for the land and site our solar farms accordingly.

Who is responsible for a solar farm?

Cypress Creek Renewables is responsible for all assessment costs, development costs, property taxes related to the solar farm, and ongoing maintenance costs. Once the lease has ended, we will remove all equipment and modules from the solar farm and will be responsible for any associated costs.

How will a solar farm affect property value?

Cypress Creek is committed to developing projects that take into consideration the character of the area. To this end, we engage with professional appraisers in each state to evaluate any current or potential impact. In North Carolina and elsewhere, studies have found no negative impact on surrounding property values.

Does a solar farm produce a lot of sound?

No. While the solar farm will produce a consistent, quiet hum during the day, the sound will not be heard outside the fence line. At night, the solar farm will not be active and will not produce any sound.

The facility’s inverters and transformers produce a sound when operating during peak power production hours, typically between 10am-2pm. At 150 feet, this sound is inaudible above natural ambient noise in rural areas. The sound created by the inverter during peak power production is typically in the range of 65 decibels at a distance of 30 feet – the equivalent of the sound created during normal conversation. The rest of the facility’s equipment does not produce any audible sound and no sound is produced at night.

How visible will the solar farm be?

Solar farms, by nature of their design, have a low profile, and Cypress Creek makes every effort to keep as much of the existing vegetation around the perimeter of the project as possible. We also commit to seeking community input on how best to integrate the solar farm into the surrounding landscape. Once the solar farm is decommissioned at the end of a lease, we will leave the land clear for any future use determined by the landowner.

Who handles the municipal permits and fees?

Our local, experienced team will handle any permits required, and Cypress Creek Renewables is responsible for any fees associated with those permits.

How long does it take to develop and build a solar farm?

The timeline for development is different for every project and can last from two to multiple years. In order for a solar farm to reach construction, multiple internal and external processes and approvals must come together, including environmental studies, land use reviews, detailed technical designs and utility approvals. Federal and state level policy decisions also affect our project development timelines. Once the construction process of your solar farm begins, we estimate the build phase to take between two to 12 months, depending on the size of the project.

How are solar farms maintained?

Once constructed, solar farms require very little maintenance. Cypress Creek will service the inverters and transformers as well as mow and weed. Cypress Creek strives to minimize impacts by planting landscape buffers where necessary and incorporating feedback from nearby landowners in the site plan.

What is “responsible development”?

Cypress Creek strives to be a good neighbor. We work to engage local officials and community stakeholders for input throughout our development process. We seek community input on how best to integrate the solar farm into the surrounding landscape.

Does a solar farm benefit local communities?

Solar farms provide an important source of investment and local revenue for communities and jurisdictions. For example, during construction solar farms help to generate local construction jobs and economic activity for community businesses such as hotels, hardware stores, and restaurants.

Who is responsible for the decommissioning of the solar farm?

Cypress Creek will cover 100% of the costs associated with the decommissioning of the site. Neither the residents of the county nor the landowners will pay any costs associated with restoring the land to agricultural use once the equipment is removed from the site.

After the useful life of the solar farm, a solar reclamation firm will collect the modules for recycling, the inverters for refurbishing, and the hardware for salvage. The land is then reseeded with a local seed mix and can be repurposed for agriculture or other uses.

Is solar compatible with agriculture?

Yes. Solar farms are low-impact and can operate safely without any impact to neighboring agricultural properties. Cypress Creek installs panels on driven metal pilings. During operation, the land rests and rebuilds, leaving soils aerated with new layers of topsoil. At the end of the solar farm’s useful life, the pilings are removed and the land is returned to its original state.


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