Understanding Solar Project Development at Urban
Utility-Scale Solar Project Development Process
Urban Grid takes an ownership approach to our utility-scale solar project development process. Not only are our projects clean energy solutions that deliver power to the local electric grid, they also bring significant investment to the local community. Our experienced team engages with our landowner partners and community members early in the solar development process to build strong relationships with the local community. We believe that to be the best solar project developers we must foster open, honest communication and transparency throughout the process and ensure that all stakeholders have a seat at the table.
Utility-scale Solar Site Identification
The foundation of our development success starts with identifying the best sites for hosting utility-scale solar projects. We invest significant capital early in the solar project development process to ensure project sites meet our extensive criteria. We believe in being good neighbors, and our relationship with the local community begins here.
One of the most critical and difficult aspects of utility-scale solar project development is managing a project’s interconnection to the electric grid. Urban Grid has an experienced interconnection team to evaluate interconnection feasibility early and to ensure projects move smoothly through the interconnection study process to final approval with the local utility or grid operator.
Permitting & Approvals
Urban Grid prides itself on quality solar project development while being a good neighbor, which requires commitment to the permitting and approval of our utility-scale solar projects. Our development team is dedicated to achieving responsibly developed solar projects from start to finish.
While Urban Grid doesn’t maintain an internal construction staff in-house, we do have an experienced construction management team oversee the relatively short 6 – 8 month construction process. We maintain relationships with key construction partners to facilitate delivery of a quality finished product.
Urban Grid utility-scale solar projects will continue to produce clean, renewable energy for years and years without any significant impact to our host community or environment.
How Commercial Solar Benefits the Community
Our solar projects will likely be around for the next 20+ years. Hence, we place the highest value on being a good neighbor and on supporting the communities through our investment. Our projects will bring increased tax revenue to localities and new job opportunities; They will offset carbon intensive power on the local grid and reduce reliance on fossil fuel power, which has secondary environmental and health benefits. We become partners in the community and enjoy engaging community members to bring responsibly developed utility-scale solar online. For more information on the financial benefits of an off-site solar solution, check out our post on renewable energy risk management.
With the increase in the utility-scale solar project development across the country, there is a solar project construction workforce shortage. Previously, this forced developers to bring in out of state workers. Recognizing the problem, Urban Grid has made it a core focus to invest in workforce development programs in the states in which we are developing projects by partnering with developers, construction companies, utilities, and community colleges. We work with these organizations to put in place programs that train local workers to build our projects, ensuring that when they complete the programs, they have jobs waiting for them. Please click the link to learn more about the Virginia Solar Workforce Development Initiative.
For more information on utility-scale solar, check out our Solar Energy FAQ!