How Many Solar Panels Fit on an Acre?

By Mohamed Fared

Last Updated:

Whether you want to produce your own clean energy or lease your land to a solar farm, it’s important to understand how many solar panels can you fit on an acre.

As a general rule of thumb, an acre of land can fit anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 solar panels.

The exact number will depend on the model of the photovoltaic panel, the type of mounting system, and the land’s topography.

In this article, we’ll go more in-depth on how many solar panels per acre and how much money can it make you.

Key Takeaways

  • An acre is 4046.86 square meters
  • The typical commercial solar panel is about 21.6ft² or 2m²
  • An acre of land can fit between 1,500 and 2,000 solar panels
  • A 1MW solar farm costs about $1 million
  • An acre of land produces anywhere from 800 to 1,000kWh per day

What is a Solar Farm?

Before we can answer any questions, we must first understand what a solar farm is.

Solar Farm is a large area covered with solar panels used to generate electricity.

A large number of businesses now use these facilities as part of their overall energy demands. Some of the largest Solar Farms are owned by companies like Apple or Google.

These facilities’ solar panels produce more power than what they need for their use and sell the excess energy to government utilities, earning pretty good money and accelerating their payback period.

Some utilities also build solar farms to meet the ever-growing demand for renewables.

There are also community solar farms popping up, which are a bit different. These are usually smaller in size, and the electricity they generate is shared among the people who live around them or sold to the local utility company.

Community Solar Farms are a great way to get involved with solar power without having to make a huge investment, and they’re becoming more popular as people learn about them.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Solar Farm?

The cost of Solar Farms varies depending on the size of the farm.

Building a small farm with just a few hundred panels is entirely different from building a large farm that can produce hundreds of megawatts daily.

The expenses involved in construction include buying land, setting up the infrastructure, and bringing it to the power generating stage.

While the solar system can be installed in a few months, it may take several years before a Solar Farm can generate a steady income. For this reason, you want to make sure you are purchasing the best solar panels on the market.

The costs also depend on the government regulation in that country, among other factors.

But in general, a 1-megawatt solar plant can supply power to as many as 200 homes, which costs $1 million for the solar installations.

How Many Solar Panels Per Acre?

Theoretically, an acre of land can fit between 1,500 and 2,000 solar panels.

However, this number will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the solar panel, building codes, and other local rules. The best source for information would be your county or city’s sustainable energy office or equivalent agency.

Step 1: Calculate The Size of Your Solar Panels

The size of your solar panels is important when considering how many they can be in the same area.

You will want to take into account local laws about construction, terrain, and other factors before making this decision because there isn’t one perfect dimension for all types of designs! 

Just know that the typical commercial solar panel usually occupies 21.6 ft² or 2 square meters.

Step 2: Calculate How Many Solar Panel Will Fit on Your Land

An acre is 4046.86 square meters, so with a little bit of math, we can calculate that an acre could theoretically accommodate around 2,000 solar panels.

However, there are other components of solar farms you need to account for, such as the inverters, space between the rows for maintenance, mounting systems, and more.

So in reality, you can only fit about 1,500 solar panels per acre.

Step 3: Calculate How Many Hours of Direct Sunlight Your Land Gets

Solar panels’ output is based on both the number of hours of sunlight they are exposed to and the intensity of the sunbeam.

Most of the energy is generated during peak sunlight hours (midday), which vary depending on the season and your location.

On average, you should expect around 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Step 4: Calculate How Much Energy Does Your Solar System Produces

There are many ways to calculate the energy production of solar panels, but most of them are pretty technical and require a lot of calculations, which I don’t think you really need for this project.

Instead, I’ll give you a simple way to calculate the solar energy production of your solar system.

Energy Production = Number of Solar Panels * Wattage of The Solar Panel * Number of Direct Sunlight Hours

Suppose we have an acre of land and we managed to install 1,000, 200W solar panels.

Then the energy the production can be calculated as:

Energy Production = 1,000 (solar panels) * 200 (wattage of solar panel) * 4 (direct sunlight hours)

Energy Production = 800,000 Watt-hours/day or 800 kWh/day.

It’s important to mention that this is a very simplified way to calculate energy production and it should only be used to get a rough estimate.

A more accurate way would include measuring the amount of sun radiation your land gets, the efficiency of the panels, shading, temperature, conversion losses, and many more.

For more information, you can check this article on how much energy solar farms produce.

Solar Farm Lease Rates

Many solar companies will lease a portion of your land in return for the power that they generate.

These solar developers typically pay between $7 and $10 per watt, which means that the average solar farm profit is around $700 to $1,000 each month on average depending on location and other factors.

Most leases are written for 20 years with automatic renewal options.

Can I Put A Solar Farm On My Land?

There is no simple answer to this question, as the feasibility of putting a solar farm on your land will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The amount of usable land you have
  • The amount of sunlight your land gets
  • The presence of any shading
  • The angle of your land
  • The proximity of your land to the power grid

However, in general, if you have a large enough plot of land that receives a good amount of sunlight, then you should be able to put a solar farm on your property!

You won’t know unless you consult a solar company, so go ahead!

Last Words

Putting up solar projects can be an extremely profitable business venture.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did.

If you still have any questions, share them with us in the comment section below.

Mohamed Fared

Mohamed Fared is a qualified engineer, with over three years of experience in the solar energy field. He has worked on some of the largest infrastructure projects in the world, including the 1,650MW Benban solar park in Egypt. When he’s not working, Mohamed is a passionate advocate for increasing access to green energy and sustainable development. He also enjoys learning about new innovations in the industry.

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3 thoughts on “How Many Solar Panels Fit on an Acre?”

  1. I have 2.5 acres in the Mojave desert in California. I would like to know what a reasonable lease rate to give to a solar company would be.
    I would also like to know on the average how much energy 2.5 acres in the Mojave desert would generate on an average per year?

    Reply
  2. I have 2.5 acres in the Mojave desert in California. I would like to know what a reasonable lease rate to give to a solar company would be.

    Reply

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