Can I Trust My Solar Developer?

6 things to look for in a solar power project developer

If you own a large parcel of land, you may be considering partnering with a solar developer to convert that land to a solar power generating facility to secure long-term, reliable income. This is a fantastic way to diversify your cash flow and secure the land for the future. But not all developers are created equal. With the dramatic improvement in the economics of renewable energy, many companies have waded into the space and it is challenging to know if the developer you are speaking to has the resources, knowledge, and experience to build the solar power project.

Here are 6 things to consider when choosing which developer to partner with:

Track record – An important consideration is how many projects the company has built and in how many different jurisdictions. A large portfolio of projects completed in New York is impressive, but it may have little to no bearing on the success of projects in another state, where the environmental regulations and interconnection process could differ greatly. Look for a developer that has built projects in multiple states and even different countries. This indicates the ability to rapidly adapt to different requirements to successfully build a solar power generating facility.

Past Project Size – Solar photovoltaic power generation comes in several sizes, from private homeowners to commercial and industrial power production. Make sure your chosen developer has built projects comparable to the amount of land you have to offer. A developer who has only built small-scale rooftop and ground mount may not be the best partner to complete a solar power project that spans several hundred acres.

Partner Testimonials and News in General – Do a search for press releases and info about the company. Keep a sharp eye open for negative news such as lawsuits, failed projects, or negative testimonials. Ask the company you are considering partnering with if they have any previous landowners who would be willing to talk to you about the process and how they felt the project went. A good developer will have numerous partnerships to call from who would be willing to vouch for their credibility.

Time in Business – With time comes experience. Check how long the developer has been operating their business for. It’s easy to spin up a business and website in short order. You want a company that has been through the ups and downs of the energy market. The longer a company has been in business, the greater their experience and the greater chance they will be able to bring your specific solar power project across the finish line.

Number of Employees – Larger companies are not always indicative of the ability to get the job done, small and scrappy companies work hard and do impressive work, but a larger company may have more resources and connections to more efficiently get the work done.

Gut-feel – Do you like the people you have spoken to? This is important as they will be your partner through this process and feeling that you can trust them is a large component of bringing a project across the finish line.

All told, this is quite a lot of information to gather and can be daunting. At Maximum Lease we have partnerships with vetted developers and financial backers who have a long history of success in the solar market. Please reach out today and we will take the guess work out of the developer selection process and put you in touch with the companies we feel would suit you best. You can then decide which of the top tier companies you like best and go from there.