Frequently Asked Questions
Q: WHAT DOES A COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM CONSIST OF?
A: All solar farms require:
Sufficient capacity in the local power grid network.
Electrical apparatus on-site including a private substation/transformer and a number of inverters that are evenly distributed throughout the site. The transformers are approximately 10 feet high.
A clearance gap at least 13 feet will be placed in between each row of solar panels to allow space for maintenance vehicles, sheep grazing and to prevent shading of panels.
Six-foot high perimeter fencing is a required security measure that needs to meet standards to ensure adequate insurance coverage for theft, safety, and damage.
Q: WHAT DOES THE INVERTER DO?
A: PV solar panels produce high voltage (more than 400v) direct current (DC) electricity. It is the job of the inverter to convert this DC current to 120V 60Hz alternating current (AC), which is the standard voltage used by the appliances in your home.
Q: WHAT ABOUT GLARE FROM THE SOLAR PANELS?
A: Very little energy is lost through reflection. Any glare is minimized through using translucent coating materials to improve light transmittance through glass. In fact, grass produces more glare than a PV array.
Q: IS THERE ANY POLLUTION OR NUISANCE ASSOCIATED WITH SOLAR FARMS?
A: Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into electricity without any discernible noise, vibration, and air or water pollution. The only noise is from inverters which convert the DC power to AC, and they are only audible from a few feet away.
Q: DO THE PANELS REQUIRE MAINTENANCE?
A: The key maintenance is regular check-up to the electrical equipment and management of the land. Encouraging wildflower meadows and sheep grazing is considered the most cost-effective method of land management for most solar farms.
Q: HOW IS THE LAND MANAGED WHILE THE SOLAR FARM IS IN OPERATION?
A: A specialist land management team will be employed to maintain the site throughout the operation of the solar farm. The team will be responsible for implementing the landscape strategy that includes the planting of trees, hedges, a wildflower meadow and sheep grazing.
Q: WHAT ABOUT FLOOD RISK?
A: Rain water runoff from the site will not increase from the presence of the panel arrays and it will not displace any floodwater. A wetlands and stormwater assessment will be commissioned and form part of any mitigation that might be required.
Q: IS MORE ENERGY USED TO MAKE THE PANELS THAN THE PANELS PRODUCE?
A: The energy payback periods for solar panels have reduced significantly over time and most solar farms neutralize their energy consumption within 3 years.
Q: IS SUBSCRIBING TO A COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM THE SAME AS BUYING MY ENERGY FROM AN ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY (ESCO)?
A: An ESCO only replaces the electricity supply charges on your electricity bill, while community solar replaces both delivery and supply charges on your electricity bill.
Q: HOW WILL THE SOLAR ENERGY GET TO MY HOME?
A: The clean energy generated by the community solar project will be fed into the local power grid operated by National Grid. Some or all of the electricity you already receive from National Grid will now come from locally-produced solar energy, reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned in NY.
Q: DO I NEED TO LET MY UTILITY KNOW I AM SIGNING UP FOR THIS?
A: Following the regulations outlined by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Public Service Commission (NYS PSC), Eden Renewables will inform National Grid on your behalf. You don’t need to call National Grid or switch your utility account.
Q. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMUNITY SOLAR FARMS?
A. Any National Grid customer who is a homeowner, renter or small business that is located in the Capital District (NYISO Load Zone F).
Q: HOW AND WHEN CAN I PARTICIPATE?
A: We will begin offering subscriptions shortly. If you have any questions or would like us to contact you regarding this service, please contact us.