Solar Site Screening and Feasibility

Desktop site screening

Open area with proposed solar panels and energy probability curve.Selecting the right site for your project is a prerequisite for success. UL uses site screening tools and long-term solar insolation to determine resource potential and identify new opportunities for solar energy development. When evaluating sites, we look at numerous criteria such as solar resource characteristics

  • Existing land use and area
  • Proximity to transmission
  • Thermal screening for line excess capacity
  • Shading impacts and other important siting parameters

When multiple sites are under consideration, the calculated cost of energy, load matching quality, and other factors play a part in rankings. These comprehensive assessments provide developers with a better understanding of parcel value and help prioritize next steps.

Using our solar resource maps and observational data, GIS layers (including land cover, land use, and development exclusions), and an understanding of your project objectives, we can help identify and assess your siting options. This initial screening is usually followed by site visits by our field engineers, who will work with your team to ground-truth the assumptions, obtain additional information, and select places to install solar monitoring stations to characterize the resource.

Field assessments

When it comes to selecting a site, there is no substitute for site visits. Our field engineers can work with your team to ground-truth the assumptions and data used in the initial site screening (such as the presence and location of existing roads and transmission lines), and address issues such as:

  • Road and transmission access
  • Potential visual concerns
  • Issues of cultural, environmental, historical, or other community sensitivity
  • Possible solar monitoring locations, including site coordinates, access, and surroundings
  • Cellular telephone service reliability for automated data downloading

Feasibility

A feasibility study allows you to weigh the potential risks and rewards in developing a project before you make a large investment. Our staff, working with your team, will address some or all of the following issues:

  • Resource and energy production potential
  • Technical feasibility and technology options
  • Cost and revenue projections and financial pro forma
  • Potential environmental concerns
  • Regulatory requirements and challenges
  • Interconnection requirements
  • Community acceptance