Landowners

How long does it take to develop and construct a solar farm?

Generally, for a 2-5MW solar farm the development takes 8-14 months. However, the development timeline largely depends on the utility company’s interconnection process and, local/municipal permitting and approval processes. Construction can take an additional 5-10 months depending on construction timing based on seasonal considerations.

Who will be responsible for the permitting and associated fees?

OYA’s experienced team will be responsible for the entire permitting process as well as any and all associated costs.

How much will I get paid for leasing my land?

Lease rates will vary depending on the state you live in and the cost of power within your local jurisdiction. Lease rates will also vary significantly based on the available solar program which the project on your land will be developed under. You can expect to be paid a significant premium to the current rentable value of the land.

How long will you lease my land?

Typically, the average term for our land leases are 20 or 25 years, plus 2 to 4, 5 year extension options.

Who is responsible for operating and maintaining the solar farm?

OYA Solar or its long-term ownership group (through local subcontractors) will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the solar farm. Operation and maintenance typically requires a visit to site a few times per year.

How visible will the solar farm be?

OYA Solar will consult with the landowner to ensure that the visual impact of solar farm will be minimal. This is typically the single largest contention raised at municipal site plan approval meetings. We can incorporate natural buffers (such as a treeline) into our site plans to help mitigate any potential visual impacts. Generally speaking, solar systems are low-profile structures and typically do not pose a significant hinderance to visual sightlines.

Does a solar far produce a lot of noise?

No. The solar farm’s inverters will produce a very low decibel sound while operating during the day, however it will not be a noticeable disturbance. At night, the solar farm will not be producing power and thus does not produce any sound.

Can I still use my property for other uses even with the solar farm on it?

Yes. Many of the landowners only lease us a portion of their property and use the remaining land to continue farming or operating their business. Until construction start you would continue to use the land as you always have, with the caveat that you would not do anything to the land that would prevent our construction or operation of the solar system. For example, we ask that you not build any obstructions that would shade our solar system in the future.

Where is the power that is generated from the farm used?

The electricity that is produced by the solar farm is fed into the local electricity grid and is physically delivered to various energy users by the utility.

What happens at the end of the lease?

Under the lease, OYA or its long-term ownership group will be responsible for removal of all equipment and infrastructure associated with the project. OYA will pay all costs associated with the decommissioning activity. While, decommissioning of the solar farm is always incorporated into the lease agreement, in some cases, towns and/or counties require developers to post a Decommissioning Bond to ensure funds are available at the end of life to remove the solar facility. While this has a financial impact to the project that will be passed on to the energy user, if required, we are happy to work with the relevant stakeholder to do so.

Do solar farms represent an environmental risk to my land?

There are no hazardous materials that the land will be exposed to during the normal construction or operation of the solar farm.

What are lease payments for, and how is the value of leases determined?

Leases are executed with each property to provide reasonable access to the site during the project’s lifetime. Lease payments are provided by OYA to the property entities on an annual basis and are fixed over the term of the project. Regardless of system performance, the lease payments will occur as laid out in the agreement.

Community Solar

Will I have to install solar panels on my building?

No. The community solar subscription option is perfect for people who want to save money with green energy but do not have a roof or other suitable place to install solar panels.

Are there signup or ongoing fees for being a subscriber?

No. There are no initial or ongoing fees payable to OYA or the utility for being a community solar subscriber. We do recommend that subscribers seek legal advice before signing any contract which would be at the subscriber’s cost.

How long will my agreement last?

Depending on the metering class from the utility, the term can last anywhere from 5-25 years with various extension options. This will be clear and known up front after we review your utility bills.

Will I still be able to purchase power from an ESCO (Energy Service Company)

Generally, yes. In the case of New York, for example, you can still choose to purchase the power from the Utility or any of the approved ESCOs. The community solar credit will be applied separately on the utility bill. This can vary state to state, so please contact us for more information.

What happens at night when I need power and there is no sun?

You will still be purchasing power from your local utility and will still be connected to the utility grid so you will have power when you need it.

Will I still receive a bill from the utility?

Yes. Depending on the state and utility you will either receive all of your community solar crediting on the same bill, or you will also receive a separate bill from OYA. Please contact us for specific clarity for your state.

How do I participate?

Subscribers sign a subscription agreement to receive bill credits from the project at a 10% discount.

The subscription agreement entitles the subscriber to receive a defined percentage of the bill credits that are produced by the project during the term of the agreement. In effect, customers sign up to receive a ‘share’ of the solar project’s bill credits.

What are bill credits?

Bill credits are a line item on your bill that reduces your utility bill costs.

Bill credits are generated when the community solar project produces electricity, which is then used by the utility. The utility values the electricity generated based on several different criteria, such as the time the energy is generated. The value of the project’s electricity is then converted into bill credits, which are applied to subscribers’ electric utility bills.

What if I purchase electricity through an ESCO?

You may continue to purchase your electric supply through an ESCO while subscribing to a community solar project. The bill credit estimate and associated savings, provided above, include the cost of your ESCO electric supply bill.

In some cases, ESCOs bill their customers separately, rather than processing the supply charge directly on the utility bill. If this is the case, to reap the maximum benefits of community solar, your ESCO will need to process your supply bill through the utility’s billing system. This process enables you to receive a bill credit against your supply charge in addition to the rest of your electric bill.

If the ESCO supply bill is not moved onto the utility bill, you will receive bill credits against your entire electric bill, except for the supply charges. Should you notify us this is the case, the subscription percentage, and your associated estimated cost savings, will be reduced.

How is the value of my bill credit calculated each month?

Every month the subscriber receives credits equal to the value of bill credits produced by the project for that billing month and multiplied by the customer’s subscription percentage.

Project value of bill credits in a month
= {total energy produced by project in the month} x {average value stack rate of energy produced}

Value of bill credits provided to subscriber in a month
= {% project subscribed} x {project value of bill credits in month}

Amount billed by OYA in a month = {Value of bill credits provided to subscriber in month} x 90%

Bill credit savings in a month = {Value of bill credits to subscriber in month} x 10%

Calculation Example (not real data):

5,000 kWh produced per month, $0.20/kWh credit rate, 40% subscription

Project value in month = 5,000 kWh x $0.20/kWh = $1,000

Value to subscriber in month = $1,000 x 40% = $400.
Amount Billed by OYA Solar = $400 x 90% = 360

Bill credit savings to subscriber in month = $400 x 10% = $40

What if I have too many credits in a month?

Too many bill credits may result in a negative utility bill in any given month. Negative utility bills are carried forward and applied in the next month. Given that the solar array produces more energy in the summer, summer months often have negative bills that get carried forward and applied to electric bills in the winter months.

Onsite / Rooftop Systems

What if I don't have a suitible roof or area of land for solar panels?

You could consider signing up as a community solar subscriber which doesn’t require any space to install solar panels. Alternatively if you have multiple properties or buildings within the same utility territory, we can build a solar project on one site and credit a different site.

I have buildings and land, but they aren't in the same place. Can I still build solar?

Yes. If you have multiple properties or buildings within the same utility territory, we can build a solar project on one site and credit a different site.

What about my existing roof warranty?

We will determine if you have an existing warranty in place and work with the warranty holder and manufacturer to ensure we are maintaining the warranty.

I need a replacement roof. Can you help with that?

Yes. We can structure the agreement to increase the upfront payment to help you offset some of your reroofing costs.

What type of buildings or roofs are suitable for solar?

We are generally looking for roofs that are greater than 40,000ft2. We can install solar on sloped or flat roofs and can work with all roof composition types. Large open areas of roofs with minimal obstructions are preferred.

What happens at night when I need power and there is no sun?

You will still be connected to the utility grid so you will have power when you need it.