Frequently Asked Questions
How long has Solar Smart, LLC been in business?
Solar Smart has been developing community solar projects since 2011. We work closely with our partner Community Energy Collective, the nation’s leading Community Solar developer.
How many projects have you done?
Our company and partners have developed over $75 million dollars worth of solar projects.
How do the lease payments work?
Lease payments are paid in advance on an annual basis.
Can I renew at the end of the lease?
At the end of 25 years, the lease can be renewed in 5-year periods for up to an additional 20 years.
How large are the solar panels?
Panels usually stand 5’ to 8’ off the ground.
How long does it take to complete the project?
The completion time varies due to issues that might arise such as permitting, weather, etc. Most projects take between 6 and 9 months to complete.
Are there concerns about Electromagnetic Fields?
Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are a normal part of life in the modern world. Solar gardens generate EMF in the same frequency range as electrical appliances and wiring found in most homes and buildings. Cell phones, radios and microwaves produce a higher EMF than solar panels.
Is glare a factor to be concerned about?
Most solar panels are designed with anti-reflective glass that reflects only about two percent of incoming light, so issues with glare from solar panels are rare.
Do the panels contain hazardous materials?
The most common type of solar panels contain cells of refined silicon (sand) that are covered by tempered glass, which passes hail tests. Due to the materials being enclosed and contained in a solid material, releases into the environment are of little concern, even if the panels were to break. The modern transformers that are used in solar systems typically use non-toxic coolants, such as mineral oils.
Does a solar garden create extra heat?
All available evidence and research indicates that solar gardens do not create a “heat island” effect resulting in higher ambient temperatures. A study on the impact of solar panels on the local temperature concluded that a solar garden can absorb a higher percentage of heat than a forested parcel of land.
Will the solar panels be connected to my house to generate power?
The systems that are constructed are designed for commercial grade power generation that is provided directly to the local utility companies. Unfortunately, the system cannot be connected to your home.
How much noise do the panels generate?
Most often, the source of noise associated with solar garden comes from inverters and transformers that make a humming noise during the daytime, when generating electricity. At 50 to 150 feet from the boundary of the panels, any sound from the inverters is inaudible. The crackling or hissing sound caused by high-voltage transmission lines is not a concern in the case of solar gardens, which uses lower voltage lines.
What will happen to my property value?
A review of literature nationwide shows little evidence that solar gardens influence nearby property values. Residential property value research on roof-mounted solar PV and wind turbines also illustrates no evidence of devaluation of homes in the area.
Are there safety issues?
To prevent intruders and unsafe situations, fencing will be installed to prevent children and the general public from coming into contact with the solar garden. The fencing sits back ten feet from the edge of the panels to provide a ten-foot buffer zone. The equipment is continually monitored.