A Solar Farm’s Unseen Benefit: Passive Income

By Peggy Hammond    September 9, 2018

At Innovative Solar Systems, LLC (ISS), we develop utility-scale solar farms, so we recognize the myriad benefits of solar energy.  One advantage is something people may not consider right away:  the financial boon gained from the solar farm’s site.  While the solar array is quietly producing power, the land used for the array is generating dependable, passive income for the landowner.

To most, earning money without putting in hours of labor is an idea worth investigating.  For a farmer working hard for a payday that is dependent upon uncertainties of weather and that could be insufficient in the end, this opportunity might sound too good to be real.  However, leasing land for a solar farm can produce steady money for the landowners and free them from worrying about frost, drought, hail, or a flood ruining crops.  Fields that are cleared, are not in wetlands, and have good sun exposure have potential for a solar farm.  Each solar developer has different acreage requirements, which is something for the family to consider; some developers can work with smaller tracts of land, while ISS projects need a minimum of 150 cleared acres.  For those interested in dual purpose land use, it’s important to note solar farms can produce more than energy.

Some landowners continue to use their fields-turned-solar-farm for additional purposes.  As an example, the organization Renewable Energy Vermont works with Vermont’s solar leaders to make sure pollinator-friendly plants are grown along the edges of solar farms.  With this approach, farms do double duty; they generate clean power and provide a necessary, pesticide- free habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and insects.  In fact, some beekeepers are placing their hives among a farm’s solar panels, with tasty and profitable results.  There are future chances for production of food crops on solar farms, too.  Positive results are coming from research into and pilot programs for growing vegetables under elevated solar panels.

It goes without saying, every landowner’s situation is different, so deciding to enter a lease agreement with a solar developer involves a variety of considerations.  However, for interested landowners whose acreage meets the requirements needed for construction and operation of a solar farm, a reliable, passive income is a welcome addition to any family’s budget.

As a leading developer of utility-scale solar farms, ISS knows the value for our clients when a land lease is arranged, and we’re honored to be part of creating another level of financial security for them.  For information on ways to work with us in bringing solar energy into more of America’s towns, please visit our website at www.innovativesolarsystemsllc.com or call 828-424-7884.