Solar farms are large tracts of land equipped with a panel arrays that have been mounted on the ground for tracking heat and light from the sun. They are functionally different from decentralised applications of solar energy, and deliver power derived from the sun mainly to utilities instead of direct to local consumers. They are generally built in rural areas due to the fact that a typical solar farm requires an extensive area to be constructed.
Constructing a solar farm is a complex project and includes several tasks such as finding a suitable site, taking into account the potential environmental impacts of the project on the surrounding area and determining relevant targets of renewable energy. Grid capacity consideration is one of the main priorities, since land availability in Australia is not a constraint the grid capacity guides developers to suitable areas. Enhar is one of the leading solar consultants in Australia and can help in developing a solar farm by offering such services as site identification, establishing strong relationships with landowners and planning approval management for large solar developments. Enhar can also manage the grid connection application process and provide technical due diligence on projects through the development cycle.
There are many advantages of solar farming:
- The primary advantage is quite obvious. Energy derived from the sun is clean and renewable, and has zero negative impact on the environment. It is the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions that contribute drastically to the phenomenon of global warming. The land which is used for establishing a solar farm can provide a better and more improved habitat for different plants and fauna, because it is usually a grassland. Moreover, livestock animals can also be grazed between rows of the installed panels.
- The components of a solar farm do not have any moving parts, while the inverters are kept inside soundproofed boxing. As a result, the farm does not generate any noise pollution and can easily be constructed near load centres. Not only does this reduce difficulty in transmission, but also enhances efficiency of the panels by decreasing line losses.
- In recent times, solar farming has become a lot easier than it used to be due to recent advancements as well reduction in costs of building the panels and financing incentives. Investment returns are also great when considered in terms of maintenance costs, electricity savings and guaranteed reassurance of income.
- These farms are mostly construed with security fences and cameras to secure the solar panels. Their installation doesn’t increase risk of floods. Developers can however make use of stable materials for preventing soil compaction at the time of construction.
Solar farms are essentially an effective & unobtrusive way to generate electricity. They occupy a considerable amount of space and have significant initial capital costs, but their operational economics are making them attractive in many countries including Australia.