By The Randolph Solar Development Team
One of the most frequent questions we receive is: Why do you need so much land for your solar project? The quick answer? Flexibility.
Similar to more familiar projects like a new commercial building, retail space, or school building, localities often have zoning requirements for a site in order to accommodate parking, emergency access, and setbacks to adjacent roadways and properties. Solar projects are no different. Beyond the requirements, SolUnesco designs its projects to be a good neighbor. We like to do more than the minimum where we can.
The permitting process for solar projects is a complex, multi-year process that requires local, state, and federal approvals. Due to the timing of certain studies, a developer often cannot finalize the project footprint until well after a conditional use permit is granted by a locality. During this time, more thorough cultural, environmental, and engineering studies will occur onsite, and may determine certain parcels may no longer meet the standards necessary for installation of solar panels.
Additionally, solar technology is rapidly improving its efficiency, and newer, more efficient panels may allow for a smaller footprint to generate the same amount of electricity for consumers.
SolUnesco set its current site plan for Randolph Solar to provide flexibility for final development and installation of panels. We expect approximately 5,000 acres of the over 21,000 acres currently under site control to ultimately be including within the project fence line where panels will be placed. These specific locations have not yet been determined, but our team will work closely with local, state, and federal agencies as well as local property owners to ensure the process is transparent and results in the best possible project for Charlotte County.