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.
The power generated on a New York solar farm is sold directly to customers at or below current market rates. The power remains in the region in which it is generated, which means local homes and businesses directly benefit from inexpensive, locally produced clean energy.
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.
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.
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, after several years of significant solar farm development, extensive studies by local appraisers have found no negative impact on surrounding property values, while appraisers in other states, including Oregon, have had similar findings.
Cypress Creek Renewables will pay the taxes on the portion of the land that our solar farm utilizes as well as any additional taxes associated with the existence of the solar farm.
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.
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.
The solar panels on our farms pose no threat to birds flying overhead. Because the PV technology used is designed to absorb light and not reflect it, there is no chance for birds flying overhead to be burned by reflected sunlight.
As far as wildlife is concerned, we use perimeter fencing and barbed wire (in most cases) to prevent access for large mammals, such as deer. We prevent large animals from accessing the site because they can interfere with equipment, damage wiring, or injure themselves. In cases when barbed wire is not used, perimeter fence height is increased.
Smaller animals including squirrels and birds are allowed to pass throughout and inhabit the facility following construction. The natural vegetation within the solar facility is often conducive to a wildlife habitat because it is relatively undisturbed and provides a significant amount of shade. Wildlife access to electrical equipment is prevented with conduit protection for wires, while all equipment entry points are protected with foam sealant.
We also implement, whenever possible and appropriate, concurrent land uses, such as farm animal grazing.
We follow national fire code safety standards, and there is no increased risk of fire with solar equipment or facilities.
Many landowners only lease a section of their land for the solar project and continue to farm the remaining open land. Once a solar project reaches the end of its life, all of the equipment, fencing, and inverters will be removed and the land can be utilized for agriculture or other purposes.
The generation of electricity from PV solar panels is safe and effective. Because PV systems do not burn fossil fuels, they do not produce the toxic air or greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with conventional, fossil fuel-burning technologies.
Solar panels are made of inert materials such as glass, sand, and aluminum. Cypress Creek Renewables only buys panels that are made of nontoxic materials that pose no hazard to the environment.
Our local, experienced team will handle any permits required, and Cypress Creek Renewables is responsible for any fees associated with those permits.
The development of a solar farm depends upon a number of factors, including the local/municipal application process and approvals. Construction of the solar farm itself could take two to four months, depending on the size of the solar farm. From the signing of the land lease to the finished construction, we estimate the time period to be between 18 and 24 months.
Cypress Creek Renewables is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the solar farm over the life of the project. We will not allow the site to be overgrown. We use low growth native seed mixes to maintain the vegetation on the land, along with mechanical mowing when necessary. Sometimes, we use sheep grazing to naturally maintain the land and spot-spray only as needed to control weeds. We are also responsible for the removal of the solar farm at the end of life at no cost to the landowner.