December 14, 2021

Responsible Solar Siting for Developers: Insight Into the Industry

Solar energy is seeing record growth through all aspects of the industry; the number of projects, jobs, profits, and even opportunities for landowners. (If you’re interested in landowner opportunities, read more in these blog posts: 1 and 2.) We as humans are, by nature, curious and seek knowledge to be as informed as possible, and some companies in the industry refuse to inform consumers to keep them in the dark. We aren’t like that at ClearPath Energy, so here’s how we conduct responsible solar siting for our community solar sites.

The first step in responsible solar siting is prospecting potential sites. Our development and prospecting team goes through a multi-phase process looking over multiple factors such as electrical grid capacity, terrain, environmental sensitivities, local bylaws, and more for every potential site. A lot of thought and planning goes into this process to ensure that the project benefits the landowner and community while minimizing negative impacts.

During this phase, we reach out to the community and other landowners to get their feedback. We want to make sure that we’re working with the community, not against them. This also allows us to answer any questions and concerns they may have about the project and solar energy to create a longstanding relationship.

From there, our team begins detailed design work for the site. We have to consider many elements for the project to meet legal, engineering, and construction requirements for the project to get off the ground. For instance, we take a closer look at local zoning laws and ordinances for solar installation to ensure everything falls into place with our plan of installation. Once all factors are agreed upon, a site host plan and contract are signed and we can begin on the construction phase.

Of overall top importance to any process of responsible solar siting is minimizing environmental damage and risk. We make sure there are no environmental issues on site that may affect construction or operations like hazardous waste concerns, protected lands, etc. A responsibility we take on is ensuring that the project is constructed with minimal disruption to existing land uses. This responsibility and extends during the decommissioning process where we work to restore the land is left in better condition than how we started. This means coordinating very closely with local authorities responsible for public health, fire protection, and environmental agencies. 

Solar developers have a responsibility to the communities they seek to enter. At ClearPath Energy we seek to reinvent the standard of the solar energy industry with our community solar projects.

Interested in working with us? Get in contact with us here and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.