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Can Solar Work in the Midwest?

Can Solar Work in the Midwest?

The Midwest is renowned for its small towns, agriculture, and manufacturing base. Despite having a reputation for not being particularly sunny, the Midwest actually makes an ideal location for solar installations! Here are our top 3 reasons why.

The Land

Much of the Midwest is flat farmland stretching for miles on end. This sort of acreage positions the region well for solar technology. Even with much of the farmland utilized for crops, solar arrays and agriculture can work harmoniously together when installed by a solar developer who understands the needs of both in order to flourish.

Investing in solar as a landowner or farmer can also deliver 3-4 times the income of conventional farming for those looking to diversify or make a big shift in their business or property uses. A minimum of 6-10 acres of flat, obstruction-free land near an electrical distribution line, can generate enough electricity for approximately 200 homes annually. Farmers or landowners benefit from leasing their land or selling the power generated.

The Winters

Contrary to popular belief, solar technology can actually excel in the harsh environment of Midwest winters. While heavy snowfall coats the land, it provides a strong, white, reflective scape that bounces solar rays upward. Modern bi-facial panels have solar cells on the back side as well, meaning the photons reflected upward can be captured to create more electricity.

Fortunately, bitter temperatures and shorter days are no longer a hindrance for solar arrays in the Midwest, thanks to remarkable advancements in solar technology available today. An experienced solar developer will be able to help you choose the right equipment for your project based on your property’s conditions and sunlight exposure for optimal performance.

Rain, snow, or shine, the sun is always out and emitting solar rays – even if it’s hiding behind a thick layer of clouds – ensuring that your solar array will remain well-fueled year-round. So, rest assured that your investment in solar energy will always pay off, regardless of the weather.

The Buildings

Sprawling industrial architecture in the Midwest will contribute greatly to continued solar growth in the region. Large, flat roofs on warehouses, manufacturing facilities, shopping centers, housing complexes, and more can provide electricity directly to businesses or distribute it to nearby homes and buildings through the power grid.

The benefits of solar for businesses continue to be enticing with a strong social and economic push for green business practices. Government incentives such as those in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and financing options including a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) break down barriers to entering the solar market, making now a better time than ever to adopt clean energy.

The Opportunity

Many Midwestern states, building owners, and landowners have already taken advantage of what solar has to offer and have seen impressive results.

Three Illinois manufacturers – Fellowes Brands, The Suter Company, and Radio Flyer – recently invested in solar power to meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals for their businesses. Solar has allowed them to reduce costs and lower the carbon footprint of their products. Radio Flyer alone has the potential to see a 50% savings in utility bills over a 2.4-year payback period, which will pave the way for future operations improvements.

In Wisconsin, businesses such as Maglio Companies, Madison College, Weyco Group, and J. Jeffers & Company, to name a few, have seen an average offset of 25-35% of their annual electrical costs in addition to benefits from being able to sell unused energy to the community.

Meanwhile, landowners throughout the Midwest are utilizing their properties for solar with a variety of benefits and positive results. Landfills, brownfields, and other unique parcels have been repurposed into beneficial renewable energy sources for the surrounding communities to utilize.

These are just some of the opportunities seized in the Midwest with many more to come! In 2023, SunVest Solar, Inc. is poised to develop solar projects in 17 states across the nation, with over half of the projects taking place in the Midwest. This exciting time for solar power is just the beginning of a nationwide commitment and investment in renewable, clean energy sources and the Midwest is at the forefront of the movement.

If you are a Midwestern business, building owner, or landowner interested in exploring the possibility of solar energy, our team at SunVest Solar, Inc. is here to help! Talk to our experts today to unlock the possibilities.

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