First: Choosing a location
The most important step in solar energy development is selecting a location that provides adequate sunshine. That means that open areas with a clear view of the sun throughout the day are preferred. There should be no obstructions which might shade the system. To start considering a site, climate history needs to be analyzed. The map below shows average annual solar PV potential across Canada, one of only several factors to be considered for feasible solar energy development.
Second: Securing a site
The next step is to work with local landowners and/or government officials to negotiate land use agreements and secure appropriate environmental approvals.
Third: Solar resource and environmental assessment and public consultation
To evaluate the solar conditions specific to the site, it is necessary to conduct a solar energy resource assessment. This involves analysis of data obtained through satellite remote sensing. In some cases, a monitoring station equipped with solar radiation sensors and other instruments may be installed to measure and record data during a one year period.
Various environmental studies are undertaken at the site to anticipate how a solar project might affect the natural environment, and to determine strategies to minimize the impact. Also, the local community is consulted to get feedback about the proposed project, answer their questions and address any concerns they have.
Fourth: Engineering design
Assuming the resource assessment provides a positive result and land and regulatory permissions are in place, the final stages of project completion can begin. The design of the many aspects of the project are finalized. These include PV array layout, panel support and foundation, collector system and access roads.
Fifth: Equipment procurement and construction
Parts and materials for the project are ordered. Delivery of certain components for larger utility scale projects can take a year or more. Construction of the project begins with building the access roads and foundations for the panel support system and certain electrical components. Typically a solar PV system development of a size that Anemos Energy will develop would take 4 to 8 months to construct, from the time of site preparation to final commissioning of the full system.