how much money can you earn solar farming

How Much Money Can You Earn With A 1 Acre Solar Farm?

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If you have not yet heard of solar farming, it’s time to turn over that rock and find out more. Traditional American farms, of course, produce tangible items, usually food, such as grains, fruits or livestock to name a few.

Solar farming is something entirely different. The product is energy collected from sunlight. Interest in solar farming is heating up as more people discover the long list of benefits.

However, one of the most common questions is how much money can be made with a solar farm venture. Let's dive in!

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What Is A Solar Farm?

We’ve all seen solar panels; the shiny rectangles on roofs of houses or on the ground at business complexes. These are residential or business units usually designed to power only the building on which they are installed.

Solar farms utilize the same type of photovoltaic panels, but on a much larger scale. The farms can produce enough clean energy to power a town or even a city.

Instead of the energy collected being used on-site, it is put back on the grid for others to use. The owner, in turn, receives a check from the power company or those using the power.

There are many benefits for solar farming, including the following:

  • Solar farms cost less to build and run than fossil fuel mining
  • While producing energy, they do not pollute or deplete air, water or land
  • Solar farms, particularly those in places with plenty of sunshine, are a reliable energy source
  • The sun is a fuel resource that’s not going to disappear in the near future

A solar farm, like a regular farm, comes in all shapes and sizes. In fact, to qualify as a solar farm there is no set number of panels or acres needed. However, for most utility-scale projects, or those that are large enough to power more than an individual building, output of one megawatt is fairly standard.

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How Much Can I Profit Per Acre?

According to 2022 statistics, the average solar farm annual profit per acre is between $21,250 to $42,500.

The specific profit, of course, depends highly on the location of the land, the number of solar panels, and the amount of sunshine per season. States including California and Nevada will have more sunlight per day than most of the other 50 states, and will produce more energy.

Other minor conditions that may interfere with maximum production of energy include:

  • Dust and dirt on the panels
  • Inclement weather
  • Failure to properly maintain the array of panels

It is also important to remember the initial costs of starting a solar farm. While the profit is attractive, many investors are deterred with the high startup costs. Purchasing and clearing land the land alone can be quite expensive. From there, the cost of the panels themselves and the installation add a significant expense. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association the average cost for a solar farm was a range of $0.89 to $1.01 per watt. Said another way, the total cost for the average 1 megawatt solar farm ranges from $890,000 to $1,010,000.

You can also profit from a solar farm without ever having to build a farm! Instead, you can lease the land to a solar farmer. In this way, a one acre plot of land, could net between $250 to $3000 a month in rents. However, for most solar projects, farmers will want more than one acre.


There are many solid reasons to build, own and operate or lease a solar farm. The first is that demand for alternative energy sources other than fossil fuels is rising, and will continue to do so in the near future. People are recognizing that green energy derived from the sun doesn’t damage the earth compared to mining processes that will eventually deplete supplies.

Also, advancing technology will only make solar farming more efficient and less costly to install. This in turn will widen the profit margins. Although the equipment may be on the high side to buy and install, there are government grants and loans out there today – and more on the way – to help offset these costs and put you on a profitable path.

Today’s solar farms are anticipated to last up to 50 years.

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