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Community Solar Farms in New York State: What Solar Developers Look For

Solar developers in New York State want to lease properties on which to build 5 MWac “community solar” farms. Would your land work for a 5 MW solar farm in New York State? Here’s the checklist of minimum criteria. 

20+ Acres

A 5 MWac solar farm in New York State requires 20-40 acres of land, though 30 or more is preferable. If you have more than 40 acres, a developer may choose to lease only the acreage they need. 

Near Three-Phase Distribution Lines

Community solar farms in New York State must connect to a three-phase distribution line — not a transmission line. Ideally, the distribution line runs alongside or crosses your property. Solar developers may still consider your property if there is a suitable line less than one mile away.

Flat Land

Your land must be relatively flat, generally with a slope of five degrees or less. A slightly higher slope is fine as long as it slopes down southward.

Clear Land

Your land must be mostly clear of tall trees, large rocks, buildings, or any other obstructions. Solar developers can clear your land, but this drives up their construction costs and makes your land less desirable to them. Small trees and tall shrubs are not a problem.

No Wetlands or Floodplains

Solar farms cannot be built on (or in some cases close to) areas designated as a wetland or in a floodplain.  

Road Access

There must be a path to a public road for vehicles to access the solar farm while it’s being built and to perform periodic maintenance once it’s operational. If necessary, a solar developer can build a single-lane gravel road on your property to connect the solar farm to a public road. The longer this road is, however, the higher the construction cost, and thus the less desirable your property becomes to solar developers.

If your property meets all of the above requirements, please complete this form to submit your property to SolarLandLease. We will evaluate it and let you know if a solar developer is potentially interested in leasing your land.

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