Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs and popular topics about leasing land for solar projects.
When do I get paid?
We will pay your first rent check within 30 days of signing our lease agreement. Then, we will work on permits, designs, and utility details.
How much can I expect to be paid?
We have different lease rates for different regions and site types. In general, we have found our lease rates to be higher compared to most agriculture revenue and require less work than agricultural production or tenant farming. Please contact us and our team will review your unique site.
How long is the lease term?
Can the landowner terminate the lease?
No, this is a long-term agreement that the landowner is committing to. We are building a solar project that is generating revenue for the utility and community, which all depend on solar production for 20+ years.
Can I still use my land for farming or other activities?
Who maintains the solar equipment? What are my responsibilities?
Do I need to own my mineral rights?
No. We can work with mineral rights holders to secure surface use agreements.
What happens to the equipment and land at the end of the lease?
At the end of the lease term, we will remove all equipment from the site. The modules will likely be given a second life on a new project or will be recycled. The steel, copper, and aluminum will be removed and recycled for their salvage value. Everything else will be removed and disposed of. We then re-seed the land with a native seed mix. Upon request, we will not reseed if the land is planned to go back into a specific agricultural use. The gravel access road can be left in place upon the landowner's request.
What happens to the project in the event of a financial crisis?
This is a common question, as solar is a growing industry with many new players entering the market. Pivot Energy has been in business since 2009 and operates in several states. We are stakeholders in industry niches and provide additional product offerings to our customers. This diversification allows us to be insulated from abrupt market changes compared to other solar companies.
The solar system we develop is a highly valuable revenue-producing asset. In the event of a bankruptcy, or if we simply wanted to sell the project to a different owner, then a new long-term owner would take control of the asset. Once the system is built, it quietly produces energy (revenue) that a new operator will control. Keeping the lease active or out of default is key to the success of the project. It is always in the solar owner’s interest to keep the landowner happy!
What kind of equipment do you use?
Will the panels cause a glare or reflection?
We use non-reflective technology that is designed to absorb as much light (photons) as possible. In fact, absorption, not reflection, is a critical function of a solar PV module. The blue-black material of a solar cell is designed to absorb light and each module is coated with shatter-resistant, anti-reflective glass. Our modules have less than 6% reflectivity which is comparable to window glass or a lake.
How will you manage vegetation growing within the project fence line?
We reseed the project area with a locally approved seed mix. We like to install low growth, pollinator-friendly, seed mixes that prevent erosion, look clean, are low maintenance, and have the added benefit of attracting pollinators. Where possible, we will incorporate agrivoltaics by using sheep, bees, and possibly other grazing animals to graze our sites in a regeneratively prescribed manner. This method will enrich the soil beneath our panels, provide farmers and ranchers with new sources of income, create pollinator habitat, increase biodiversity, and provide the hosting communities with long-term environmental, economic, and educational benefits.
Otherwise, we schedule lawn mowing and maintenance crews on an as-needed basis, which will be included in our annual operations & maintenance routine.
What happens when the panels are covered with snow?
We let nature run its course and wait for the snow to shed and/or melt from the solar modules. The solar modules are sloped and slick, so snow usually sheds relatively quickly. It is rare for us to hire a crew to remove snow to increase production.
Are there any onsite employees? What kind of traffic can I expect?
There are no onsite employees during the long-term operation of the solar project. Solar PV is a simple technology that passively operates with no employees present. We schedule a quarterly maintenance diagnostic team that will involve a pickup truck or van and 1-2 electrical contractors. We also will occasionally schedule a lawn maintenance crew.
Construction will last several weeks. During construction, equipment deliveries will occur with large trucks, and approximately a dozen employees and their personal vehicles will be present. They will all park within the project boundary and will only use access roads provided in the lease.
Is there any noise associated with an operating solar project?
The solar modules are silent and have no moving parts. The tracker racking system will move with the sun throughout the day and will have a small motor that cannot be heard outside the project fence line. The inverter and transformer are the components responsible for making the solar electricity compatible with the grid. During the day they have a low humming noise comparable to an air conditioner. String inverters operate at about 51 dB and central inverters at 62 dB. In comparison, a normal conversation heard at 3 feet away occurs at a 60-65 dB level.
This equipment is central to the solar project. Additionally, there is a 20-30’ perimeter around the outer solar modules. This buffer provides an additional setback between our equipment and other uses outside of the fence line.
Are there any EMF considerations for an operational solar project?
Electric and magnetic waves or frequencies (EMF) are common occurrences in our daily lives. Solar PV systems produce extremely low EMF. They are quite comparable to the EMF coming from standard residential and commercial buildings (60 Hz). EMF produced by cell phones, radios, and microwaves is much higher (30,000+ Hz).