How to Start a Solar Farm? Necessary Steps

As part of the general shift towards renewable energy, the continuous adoption of solar power in recent times has created several opportunities. One of such is setting up a solar farm. A solar farm is made up of a large concentration of photovoltaic panels used to harness considerable energy from the sun. They are distinguished from typical residential and commercial solar systems in that they are decentralized and operate just like power plants. Solar farms do not typically provide power to local users. Instead, they are more related to utility-scale applications. If you are planning to or have ever considered starting a solar farm, I will take you through the process of how to start a solar farm by answering some pertinent questions.

Table of Contents

What Size of Land Do I Need?

There is no standard for the size of land needed to start a solar farm. Nonetheless, the intended scale of the farm directly influences the size of the land required. Some large-scale solar farms are situated on large expanses of land, measuring more than 2000 acres.

Smaller-scale solar farms can fit on some hundreds of acres. However, a few acres of land can still be sufficient, especially when just starting up. When considering the size of land needed, you should consider the power output expected. The number of solar panels required can also influence the land area required.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

A crucial part of the planning process is establishing the approximate number of solar panels you will need. In some ways, this is affected by the land size, but the primary determinant is the energy demand you plan to meet. From the energy demand, you then work your way back to the number of panels required to produce that energy level.

In calculating the number of panels, you need to consider the wattage the panels can produce per given area. Further explanations that may help you figure out the number of solar panels necessary can be found here.

Cost Implication of the Solar Farm

As solar farms are typically established for utility-scale applications, they ought to produce at least 1 megawatt of power, serving up to 200 typical households. The cost per watt of solar power production is influenced by geographical location, climate, and shading effect. However, 1 watt averagely costs $1.

The cost per watt in households ranges from $3 – $4, much more than the cost effect per watt produced on solar farms. Solar farms cover extensive areas, so the short-term cost effect is always high, especially when you input the cost of setting up solar panels. However, the long-term price is always lower compared to smaller solar systems.


One exciting thing about solar panels is that they are durable and easy to maintain. Still, the maintenance of a solar farm is, by no means, an easy feat. It is always ideal to have a water source or other cleaning options available. Some large-scale solar farms feature solar-powered cleaning robots. Without regular cleaning of the panels, the farm’s power output will eventually reduce.

Related postHow to Protect Your Solar Panel from Hail?

The Electrical Connection

Another thing you should consider is the farm’s proximity to the power grid. Proximity is not the only thing to consider; the ease of connection between the farm and the grid is also significant. These are factors that influence the cost of setting up the solar farm.

Solar Farm Permits

The permits required to establish and run a solar farm vary from country to country. You must get all the permits and fulfill all the necessary conditions before setting up the farm. For example, in the U.S.A, you need to get approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. In most cases, legal documents like the certificate of incorporation, memorandum of understanding, operating agreements, insurance policy, and more are also required.

Funding Options

Not many people have the financial ability to fund a solar farm project personally. The money and means are available. It may still be a good idea to source external funding. In certain countries, financing from the government is available through several government programs. Also, public and private partnerships are possible, while private investors can also be a source of finance for solar farms.

Business Plan

Whether or not you are financing the project personally, a business plan is a must, especially for a considerable investment like this. In the business plan, you get to outline the nature of your investment, the cost estimate, and the expected return on investment. I would advise you to involve professionals in developing your business plan unless you are particularly experienced in business plan development.

Benefits of Investing in a Solar Farm

For most people who invest in solar farms, it is not only a result of a feeling of responsibility for the environment. It is also a means to make more money. Some benefits of investing in solar farms are discussed below:

Low volatility

There is less manipulation in the solar farm market, and the revenue is relatively predictable as volatility is low. For a particular sum invested, the approximate return on your investment can be easily calculated.

Reduced carbon emission

In addition to making a profit, solar farms significantly affect the environment. Energy harnessed from the sun is clean and renewable. It doesn’t pollute the environment like some non-renewable energy sources.

High return on investment

The initial cost of setting up the solar farm can be high. Nonetheless, the low maintenance cost and renewable nature mean that the running cost is minimal. There is a high profit to be expected in the long run, all other things being equal.

It is quite easy to attract investors

When solar power is slowly becoming inevitable in today’s world, it has become easier to get funding for a solar energy project than to get investors for other forms of energy projects.

Long-term investment

The returns on a solar farm investment are much more than just covering the investment cost and making some profit. After covering the cost of investment, the profit is bound to continue for a very long time.

Job Creation

As solar power has drawn much attention recently, many job opportunities have been created. From consultants to engineers, and the maintenance staff, a lot of human input is required to establish and run a solar farm.

See moreHow to Become a Solar Panel Installer?


In many countries of the world, solar power is rapidly becoming more accepted. This has created space for investments into this energy form. The exciting thing about solar power itself is its cleanliness and renewability. No pollution arises from the energy conversion process, so investing in solar farms makes our environment safer. However, investing in a solar farm is not a simple step, so the process has to be approached with all care and diligence. In the long run, considerable return on investment is quite assured, all other things being equal.

See Also:

8 Best Deep Cycle Battery & Our Reviews

Top 6 Best Flexible Solar Panels & Our Reviews

8 Best Solar Charge Controllers & Our Reviews

Leave a Comment