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As with all infrastructure projects, land is a critical resource for setting up solar power projects too. Selecting the right land for a solar project requires a careful evaluation of certain parameters such as solar irradiation at the location, soil conditions, approvals, evacuation infrastructure & other related aspects.

The challenges posed by evacuation have been a major talking point among solar developers. Developers face significant risks due to land and evacuation issues, which can be key factors that determine the economic viability of a solar project.

Here, let us take a look at some of the key challenges typically faced by developers with regard to land identification. The challenges have been addressed under two categories – power evacuation and other issues.

Power evacuation

  • Injection capacity at the substation – The grid substation has a maximum limit to the capacity of power it can evacuate. A load analysis has to be performed at the start of the project to determine this. Realizing the absence of sufficient substation capacity to evacuate power at a later stage of the project, can mean the developer may have to put up an exclusive substation for the plant resulting in a huge spike in project costs.
  • Land proximity to interconnection point – It is possible that the nearest substation for power evacuation is far away from the solar plant location. In addition to the extra cost for setting up the evacuation lines, this will also result in transmission losses which can lead to significant loss of power. It is, therefore, preferable to have the substation as close as possible to the solar plant.
  • Right-of-Way Issues – For setting up the evacuation lines, multiple electric poles will have to be erected all the way to the substation. Sometimes, the land through which the lines pass may belong to multiple parties. Dealing with this can be a complex task and solving it can be a time-consuming affair. It would require excellent people skills to solve such issues amicably and quickly.

Other issues

  • Approvals and permits – Land clearances have always been a pain in the neck for solar projects, as with other power projects too. Approvals typically include land conversion certificate, CEIG approval, local panchayat approval etc. This requires expert liasoning services which may not be the strength of a typical solar EPC.
  • Land brokers – Very often, industries and commercial establishments resort to the services of a land broker to select a suitable land. But, would a land broker exhibit sufficient level of transparency with regard to dealing with right-of-way issues? Or, would he even be aware of the right soil conditions to set up a solar plant?

Whatever the answer, a developer is likely to get into unchartered waters by selecting somebody who is not a solar expert. Although a real-estate expert, it is highly unlikely that a land broker has the expertise to address specific problems pertaining to a solar plant.

To deal with the above challenges, a solar developer is recommended to take the services of a solar EPC who is also a specialist in land, evacuation and approvals.

Ranergy – Specialist in land, evacuation, approvals

Ranergy is a turnkey solar solution provider that offers the entire range of turnkey solar solutions including land selection, assessment of evacuation infrastructure as well as securing approvals & permits.

In addition to these, Ranergy has a key offering to their customers – readily available land banks.

Ranergy can offer their solar prospects suitable land for setting up a solar project with appropriate evacuation infrastructure, reasonably fast. With key management personnel having a background in real-estate, Ranergy can utilize this capability of theirs to the customers’ advantage.

A large number of commercial and industrial establishments which are currently interested in going solar, with solar being a better choice that expensive grid electricity and the tax benefits that it offers, often reach roadblocks due to issues posed by land and evacuation thereby delaying decision-making. With Ranergy, industries and commercial establishments can get the right combination of solar EPC expertise as well as expertise in land, evacuation and approvals.

A testimony to Ranergy’s turnkey EPC services is the 2 MW AC solar power plant set up in Aruppukotai, Virudhunagar Dist, Tamil Nadu. This solar power plant is owned and developed by Ranergy, for which we performed turnkey EPC services including land acquisition, assessment of evacuation infrastructure and securing approvals & permits.

Read More about it here.

With the services of Ranergy, the developer will not have to waste precious time searching suitable land, getting approvals done or even bargain with a land broker. Ranergy offers the customer a complete turnkey package starting from land selection, evacuation and approvals to EPC, final commissioning as well as comprehensive O&M services.