We’ve all seen them — those massive clusters of solar panels sprawling along rural hillsides, creating a dark blue wave of renewable energy. But what exactly are these “solar farms,” and what purpose do they serve? Our experts in solar energy at Premier Renewables in San Francisco are here to give you the lowdown on these incredible sources of renewable energy and how they are helping California go green.
What Are Solar Farms?
Simply put, solar farms are a large collection of industrial-grade solar panels that use energy from the sun to power dozens, if not hundreds of houses, businesses, and/or facilities in an area. Of course, this depends on the size and scope of the solar farm in terms of how big each solar panel is and how many make up each farm. This can range from a colossal field of utility-scale solar panels to smaller community solar farms that are privately used by local residences in a neighborhood.
Utility-Scale Solar Farms
These are the vast collections of solar panels you can see from a bird’s eye view in an airplane as it takes off, which are both large individually and can together make up an entire Californian hillside. Some utility-scale solar farms can generate up to 50 megawatts of energy and are typically owned by a utility via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), making it possible for that utility to disperse the solar energy to many large corporations, facilities, and organizations across a city. Cleantech America was the first company in San Francisco to make such a large solar investment back in 2009, and many others have followed suit in recent years.
Community Solar Farms
Unlike utility-scale solar farms, community solar farms harness and disperse solar power on a much smaller scale. While they are still freestanding, these roofless solar power systems only take up an acre or so, depending on how many households are sharing the solar power. Rather than being owned by a utility, these solar power systems are usually owned in shares or are leased by those in the area they serve.
Households in a neighborhood, for example, can pitch in to make the switch to solar for their family by paying the community solar provider every month, rather than a traditional utility company. Not only does this save homeowners hundreds of dollars over the years due to significant energy bill savings, but it also creates a greener community for them to live in. Thousands of community solar farms are popping up across California, and San Francisco is home to many of them.
Choose Premier Renewables For Your Solar Panels
If you are interested in making a solar farm investment in San Francisco, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our solar power experts at Premier Renewables would be more than happy to help you, and can offer further insight about community solar panels and utility-scale solar farms. We can also provide a wide range of solar services, such as solar panel design and engineering, solar panel installation, construction management, and more for businesses and facilities in the area. Just give us a call!