Solar farms vary tremendously in size, defined in terms of megawatts (MW) of capacity. The kind of solar farms developers using this site want to construct range from one megawatt all the way up to hundreds of megawatts.
As a general rule of thumb, a 1 MW solar farm requires 4-7 acres of land.
The exact amount of land needed varies depending on the specific equipment used (solar panels, racking, inverters, battery storage, etc.) and on the characteristics of the land. For example:
- If more efficient solar panels are installed, fewer solar panels in total are required and thus less land is needed.
- Large solar farms require large inverters (devices that convert direct current into alternating current), and additional land may be needed to accommodate these or battery storage systems.
- Additional land may be required to compensate for problematic areas on the site, such as large trees or rocks that are cost-prohibitive to move, poor soil in places, wetlands, and floodplains.
- Additional land may also be required surrounding the solar farm to serve as a buffer to adjacent properties.