See the Common Questions on Sustainable Energy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) A list of frequently asked questions about solar energy and development

Will the solar project increase the cost of our electricity?

The developer does not set the price of retail electricity per kilowatt hour. We sell below the actual retail price because we do not pay the bills that the utility has to pay for their buildings, equipment, employees, and the power they purchase to light up your home, or power your air conditioning or charge up your cell phone, and so on.

What is solar energy?

The terms "solar energy" or "solar power" describe the process by which the sun’s solar rays are used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Solar panels or modules convert the energy from the sun into electrical energy. This energy can be used for electricity to power homes, businesses, schools, and other energy consumers. For more information on solar energy and solar energy development, visit National Renewable Energy Laboratory website at

How is the energy in the solar panels captured?

Sunlight hits the photovoltaic cells, converting photons into electricity. Solar panels are often grouped together into a single solar power plant, also known as a solar plant and generate bulk electrical power. Electricity from these solar panels is fed into a utility grid and distributed to customers just as it is with conventional power plants.

What are solar panels made of?

All electric-generating solar panel, no matter their size, are comprised of cells on a panel, and set into a frame. The panel is on a single axis tracker to follow the sun across the sky.

Are there good solar resources in the southwest?

Solar energy is very abundant in the southwest. The energy is measured by square meter.

How many homes can be powered by a megawatt of solar-generated electricity?

According to Solar Energy Industries Association, 1 megawatt (MW) of solar-generated power can supply electricity to approximately 240 to 300 households per year.

What are the advantages of solar-generated electricity?

Numerous public opinion surveys have consistently shown that the public prefers solar and other renewable energy forms over conventional sources of power generation. Solar energy is a renewable resource, so no matter how much is used today, there will still be the same supply in the future. Solar energy is also a source of clean, non-polluting, electricity. Unlike conventional power plants, solar plants emit no air pollutants or greenhouse gases.

What are the economic benefit to greater solar power usage?

An example would be contribution to the County for a 20MW project by research and report is over $13,000,000.

What are the economic obstacles to greater solar power usage?

The cost of solar power has decreased dramatically in the past 10 years. Roughly 80% of the cost is the equipment, with the balance being for site preparation and installation. If solar generating systems are compared with fossil-fueled systems on a "life-cycle" cost basis (counting fuel and operating expenses for the life of the generator), solar costs are much more competitive with other generating technologies because there is no fuel to purchase and minimal operating expenses.

Are there environmental problems facing solar power?

Although solar power plants have relatively little impact on the environment compared to fossil fuel power plants, there is some concern over the wildlife habitat impacts given the size of the solar array (the panels on their frames). Solar power has significantly lower environmental impact compared to other power generating plants. Our site has been approved by a qualified environmental entity as having no impact on the wildlife.

Is the Solar Plant hazardous to birds and bats?


Does a Solar Plant reflection from the panels affect adjacent homes or aircraft?

The panels are structured with built in anti-reflection material that does not interfere with the process of conversion to electricity. The adjacent homes or aircraft are not affected by the panels as very little, if any reflection is produced.

Is a solar plant noisy?

Under most conditions, modern solar plants are quiet.

Do solar plants pose a safety hazard?

Unlike most other generation technologies, solar plants do not use combustion to generate electricity, and hence don't produce air emissions. Contamination of surface or ground water or soils is highly unlikely. There are no safety hazards to a solar plant.

Are there other drawbacks to the use of solar energy?

The major challenge to using solar as a source of power is its production of energy during the daylight hours. Solar energy can now be stored and can be harnessed to meet the timing of electricity demands. The solar plant will have batteries for storage which will help deliver power even after the sun goes down.

Is solar energy good for the economy?

Solar energy avoids the external or societal costs associated with conventional resources, namely, the trade deficit from importing foreign oil and other fuels, the health and environmental costs of pollution, and the cost of depleted resources. Solar energy is a domestic, reliable resource that provides thousands of jobs for Americans in the US, from rooftops to plant operations and maintenance, as well as security.

Is the cost of solar power competitive with conventional power plants?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, new, utility-scale solar projects are being built all around the United States today, with wholesale energy costs ranging from 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, to 5 cents or more. These costs are competitive with the direct operating costs of many conventional forms of electricity generation now. The retail sale per kWh by the utility covers its personnel, buildings, equipment, distribution and transmission lines and substations, and maintenance in addition to the energy.

Where can I learn more about solar energy?

There are many web sites with information on solar power, solar power technology, and solar energy development issues, including environmental concerns. Just Google the subject.

Why is a Development Agreement needed for solar energy development?

The Development Agreement is needed to maintain compliance with county, state and federal laws and regulations that require government agencies to evaluate the effects of its actions on the environment. The Development Agreement will also provide clarity for obligations of development of the project to help facilitate project financing.

What is the scope of your analysis in the Development Agreement?

The scope of the County Development Agreement includes an assessment of the positive and negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of solar energy development; discussion of relevant mitigation measures to address these impacts; and identification of appropriate, programmatic policies and best management practices (BMPs) to be.

What are land use plans?

Land use plans are planning and management documents that define how resources will be managed within a specific planning area and establish restrictions on activities to be undertaken in that planning area. They are developed by the County in accordance with applicable regulations and in conjunction with interested stakeholders. The solar plant will comply with County regulations.

What impacts are addressed in the County Development Agreement?

The County Development Agreement pays special attention to County resources, which involve important issues associated with the solar energy development on the environment and public works. The Site Plan and Solar plans must be submitted and approved by the County.

Is your company prepared to compensate us for loss of property value?

I Googled a page of your question to get several third party answers. I did not pick and choose; I just copied the page. Most opinions show that the solar park will not lower your property value. Find data by Googling this link:
How Will A Large Solar Power Plant Affect Property Values...

Is your company prepared to compensate to the highest dollar of any animals lost because of said plant?

We have a federal law that we must comply to regarding any animals or specific plants found to live on the property. This is called the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). You can google this as well.

How much hotter will this make the area?

Because the array is absorbing the sunlight around the area, it may be cooler in the summer. Here is data from a study that was done: “Solar panels change the way sunlight is reflected and absorbed by the Earth. Any radiation they take in is radiation that’s not being absorbed by the Earth. This leads to a cooling effect in the region surrounding the array. In fact, the first two simulations in this study, which assumed solar panel installations throughout the world’s desert and urban areas, produced a 3.6-degrees Fahrenheit regional cooling in the desert regions.”

Will we be getting said power from said station as some sort of compensation for having to look at it?

The Public Utility Commission regulates how power is priced and sold to the public. We do not have the authority to do what you’re asking. However, we are selling the energy at a low price, and the utility is a non-profit, so logically this should be reflected on the homeowner price paid. But there are a lot of expenses in providing electricity to the community.