Commercial Solar Design’s Landowner 3 MW Solar Farm Development Program

If you are interested in learning about the options for installing a solar farm on your vacant land you have a great place to begin with this overview. We are experts on Solar PV technology and implementation. We focus on optimal site location, financial modeling, utility interconnection and power purchase agreements to maximize ROI for such projects. Solar Farms are environmentally friendly and provide a unique opportunity to participate in energy generation. Your vision of solar farm projects will make you part of the mosaic of small solar farms that will help convert our electricity to renewable sources.
Currently there are two solar farm sizes that maximize revenue and fit nicely into the program formats. The first is a 3 MWp AC farm which is about 3.3 MWp DC. And secondly as close as you can get to 20MW AC. The two farm sizes fall under different programs and have different challenges. The 3 MWp solar farm is vastly easier to get approved and installed and has the highest profit potential. The 20 MWp program involves more capital and risk but fits better into certain portfolio profiles. This project overview document focuses on 3 MWp projects.

Commercial Solar Design, LLC (“CSD”) has designed this guide to provide landowners with a template with which they can participate in the solar farm industry.

Most solar farm groups search for a suitable piece of land and offer to lease or purchase the land. Many owners are not interested in selling but consider leasing. Upon close inspection the landowner discovers that the lease option is not so great.

A lease option ties up your land for up to 3 years. If the developer decides to move forward then an 20+ years at a fixed rate. Since most utility rate contracts do not offer an escalator the leases often don’t offer one either. The solar farm groups want to maximize their profits at the expense of the landowner. After three or four years the landowner tires of the lease but is stuck for the remainder of 20+ years.

Commercial Solar Design’s program addresses this problem in three ways described in this outline.

  • Owner participates directly with Commercial Solar Design in the development stage. Owner’s participation includes a modest $35-55K to cover permitting, application fees and other costs.
  • CSD provides the framework and legal and professional work required to complete the initial development work so a project is basically shovel ready. By working together the landowner keeps cost down but more importantly participates in the upside of the project well beyond a simple lease payment.
  • When the project is at a certain stage CSD begins offering it to investment groups who are positioned to invest but not operate the solar farm project. These groups come in and do the heavy lifting financially and provide the construction funds etc.
  • When the project funds the landowner receives his initial capital outlay back 2x. The land lease is negotiated at an attractive rate and the landowner receives an equity position in the project. The long term equity position is of great value but can also be negotiated as a onetime net present value buyout.

This program outline describes specific tasks to be completed with this project overview. Work performed includes tasks leading up to;

  • Working with the building department to satisfy permit issuance including supplying engineering and submittal package documents.
  • Securing of a PPA agreement with the utility at a favorable rate consistent with the proposed Solar Farm and expected financial projections for this project shown in project financial documents
  • Negotiations with EPC to deliver a “best bid” analysis and evaluation of the long term stability and record of all suppliers to assure that the financial returns projected are met by the solar farm investment.
  • Oversee the project implementation through construction and interconnection

The primary objective for CSD is to deliver the highest financial returns to our investors and get these plants operational and generating revenue in the fastest manner possible.

If this sounds interesting then read our article and watch the video on “Steps to Start a Solar Farm” and then call us to learn more about the program.

Commercial Solar Design © 2010

About Sy Richardson

Sy Richardson brings years of high level client interaction. He is an expert in strategic thinking, problem solving, negotiation and logistics. His first solar company was started in the 80s in Miami Fl where his company installed over 3,000 residential solar systems. In 2008 Mr. Richardson refocused on utility scale solar projects and has many connections in the industry. He founded Commercial Solar Design, a company focused solely on solar farm development projects. Sy is involved in all stages of the solar farm project life. Sy is currently the Executive VP of EternaTile, Inc. EternaTile has completed 6 years of R&D and is now the best performing roofing system on the market. The EternaTile fully integrated BIPV Roofing System will follow later in 2016. The patented EternaTile Roofing System takes rooftop performance and integrates solar PV to the next level by encapsulating solar cells in the roofing tiles. The integrated solar delivers a beautiful rooftop solar solution as compared to mounted solar panels. Contact Sy or visit for more info. He loves working with the Maine Island Trail Association, and other earth friendly organizations. He has a wealth of information regarding solar and industrial technical issues. Specialties: Utility Scale Solar Farm Projects Distributed Utility Pre-Construction Development CAISO Interconnection Application Review
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