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Old 01-25-2019, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Illinois USA
320 posts, read 169,518 times
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Does anybody here please share their views /experiences about owning solar farm ( s) as investment ?

pros and cons

much appreciated

Thanks
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,226 posts, read 48,369,581 times
Reputation: 18375
I have solar power for my farm, it works okay. But it also has its problems.

I have attended a few public events that were discussing 'solar farms'.

Anyone can have a 'solar farm' all the power you produce goes onto the power grid. Instead of only you getting 'credit' for power, you can designate up to ten other electric consumers to get some of those credits.

You can designate any non-profit to get the credits too. Like your local public library or a church.

I attended a workshop on 8 January 2019 where one of this states installer was making a pitch. that if any farmer agreed to cover his barn with panels, he could share the credits with his children, when they leave the farm and move into the city. His childrens homes utility bills would be reduced by the amount of credits coming from the 'solar farm'.

There is a Permiculture group near me that wants to form together an electric CoOp, as a group to buy bare land and install a large 'solar farm', then all the investors would share the credits, against their home utility bills.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Illinois USA
320 posts, read 169,518 times
Reputation: 252
Can you recommend any organization that holds public events / workshops on solar farms ? I appreciate it
I live in IL but travel frequently to CA
Th anks for replying
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,452 posts, read 1,814,471 times
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Unless you do it on a scale large enough to be considered a supplier, and challenge deeply embedded regulations and preferences given the providers who have been there the last 100 years, you can only play the game on this kind of hippy-dippy coop/credits level.

(Did you know that most houses with solar arrays on a lease/sell-back plan cannot use the arrays for power if the grid goes down?)

The change needed is obvious, but until that happens, the only sensible path is self-owned, self-benefit arrays. There might be a few situations where a pocket of businesses or homes could do a cooperative effort that would pay off regardless of regulatory limits. But nearly everything else is a wishful gamble with some very expensive and potentially hazardous equipment.
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Illinois USA
320 posts, read 169,518 times
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THERE is a lot of solar farms of upto 5 acres offered for $ 2.5 M in CA/NV/AZ
what is your advice for investors ? does this offer returns of 10-15 % as claimed ?
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
5,452 posts, read 1,814,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad01 View Post
THERE is a lot of solar farms of upto 5 acres offered for $ 2.5 M in CA/NV/AZ
what is your advice for investors ? does this offer returns of 10-15 % as claimed ?
Perhaps a dumb or obvious question, but if they're so profitable, why are they for sale?
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,226 posts, read 48,369,581 times
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In the town where I live 75% of solar installations are for off-grid power. As an organic farmer I am a member of a number of Ag organizations, the vast majority of solar power in all of these organizations is for off-grid power.

I attend many Public Utility events, the way that they present their data is assuming that all solar power is exclusively for net-metering. But as a Public Utility, the only installations they are aware of are those that are tied to the power grid. They have a loud voice, and they spend a lot of effort to present information to the public, but their data is heavily slanted.

Solar power installers do all sides of this industry. They can talk to you about net-metering systems, about off-grid systems and about solar farms. The problem with talking to any installer is that they are salesmen. They want to sell you a system. Like any car salesman, they will slant the information in their favor.

Each state has different laws, and totally different relationships exist between the Public Utilities and the state legislature, to what each state allows legally to exist.

If you want to learn about solar farms in a specific state, you should speak first with a local installer. Ask that installer for a list of solar farms he/she has installed, then go to each of those solar farms and talk to them.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:42 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
21,455 posts, read 38,499,198 times
Reputation: 21892
I note a lot of Solar farms in SE USA (rural acreage producing commercial power).
1) land is CHEAP (er)
2) Soils / productivity is less than ideal (hillsides preferred) (AZ / NM seems like a good option for Solar Farms)
3) Being in close proximity to power grid transmission is important. (previous mill towns have an advantage)
4) Being in an area that has more power consumption that generation is a plus. (a market place)
5) Know the 'Energy Credits' and Economic Development perks.
6) Done correctly this could be of benefit to a community / region.

Home for me has little sun, but zillon KWH of Hydro, and wind. (Wish we had hung onto more Nukes)

Some of our wind has hydro storage batteries, (That is the only way USA allows to classify Hydro as 'renewable'. )

along that same vein...

I'm seeking a solar / algae location (power and fuel).
Seems to me.. Solar desalinization would be a 'win-win' for places like LA and PHX, Bangladesh, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jakarta...
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:40 AM
 
Location: midvalley Oregon and Eastside seattle area
3,469 posts, read 1,580,905 times
Reputation: 2729
Marion Co, Oregon, has banned or rezoned "valuable farm land" to prohibit solar farms. This is the Willamette Valley, the destination of the Oregon Trail Migration, where most anything grows-sorta.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:52 AM
 
3,277 posts, read 1,392,119 times
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Find out if it's profitable or not. How much is their annual revenue? Why? Are they subsidized? Is the regulation set to expire?

It's the same as buying any asset you intend to sell at a later date for profit. Do your homework.
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