Commonly Asked Questions
How big are solar projects?
Our solar projects range in size from roughly 15 acres to hundreds of acres. A 2 MW solar projects can be built on about 20 acres and generate enough energy to power roughly 500 homes. A 100-acre site can power an entire town or more. All from a source that’s about as renewable as it gets: sunshine.
Will it provide my home with electricity?
Not directly. Most of our solar projects generate energy that is fed directly to a nearby utility, which in turn delivers inexpensive, renewable energy to businesses and homes in your community.
Can I still farm other crops while there’s a solar project on my property?
Absolutely. Landowners from whom we lease participate in the design so they can continue farming around the solar panels. Solar acts like a cover crop that improves soil quality so the land can again be farmed at the project’s end.
Will I be able to see the solar project?
Solar projects have a naturally low profile. At their highest point, they are often lower than a stalk of corn. Our solar arrays are designed with neighboring communities and may include landscape buffers such as native hardwood, shade trees, shrubs, and pollinator friendly flowers and grasses.
Do solar projects make noise?
Solar projects produce a hum that it can only be heard standing inside the arrays–usually at the center of the project–and can’t be heard at the fence line. Since solar projects aren’t active without sunlight, they don’t produce any noise at night.
What are the impacts?
Solar is a great neighbor. No emissions, smells, or harmful chemicals are used or produced, and there is no harm to water quality or soil. The deep-rooted pollinator habitats planted in our projects reduce runoff and soil erosion. The panels connect to existing electricity lines, and natural rain fall is generally sufficient for cleaning the panels, meaning no need for additional water use or lines.
Will a solar project cause glare?
No. Solar panels are designed to absorb the sun’s rays, not reflect them. Studies by the FAA have found that solar projects have 50% less glare than grass and bare soil—both of which are already on site.
Does this mean less farmland?
No. Landowners from whom we lease (not purchase) participate in the design so they can continue farming around the solar panels. The leases protect farms from loss of land to spec homes and strip malls, while acting as a cover crop that improves soil quality until the land can be farmed again at the end of the lease.Are solar projects safe?
What happens at the end of the lease?
The project will be removed with all materials recycled to the greatest extent possible. The ground will be reseeded and restored to its previous state—leaving the well-rested land available to be used immediately however the landowner wishes.
Can solar help save pollinators?
Yes! The site will be planted with pollinator-friendly native plants and flowers. Butterflies and bees are responsible for every 3rd bite of food we eat. Suitable habitat is critical to healthy pollinator populations and successful crops, and our wildflower meadows are beautiful to the eye.
How long does it take to build a solar project?
Not that long. From the time we sign the lease, until the time the project is producing energy from the sun, it’s usually 18-36 months. The physical installation of the panels and equipment can take a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the size or scale of the project.
Is Solar A Good Fit for Your Property?
Working with you, OneEnergy completes an initial review of the proposed site to ensure it has three key ingredients: dependable amounts of sunshine, relatively flat land free of trees or wetlands, and close proximity to electrical infrastructure. If the land is suitable, OneEnergy will often offer the property owner a lease.
The next phase (referred to as ‘due diligence’) usually takes 18-36 months. During this time we will conduct in-depth studies and secure necessary permits. OneEnergy’s team works offsite more than onsite during this time, so the landowner may continue to sow crops or use the land as you wish throughout this timeframe. OneEnergy is committed to minimal disturbance at all times.
When a solar project’s life is over, the components are removed and recycled, and the former array leaves behind well-rested soil that can immediately be returned to its previous use.
Give us a call or send an email–one of our development team members will review your property’s characteristics and you’ll know pretty quickly if a solar array is compatible with your land.