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4 min read

Finding Solar Sites: Environmental Risks & Hacks

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We make no secret of the fact that, here at Transect, we are very Into solar. And wind. And clean energy in general.

Alas, our enthusiasm does not automatically translate to ease and simplicity when it comes to finding and nailing down the right land for solar electricity generation. If anything, as the world wakes up to the dangers of carbon emissions and conventional energy production and turns its collective eye toward the sun, finding the right sites is only getting more challenging.

With competition heating up (no pun intended), dilettantes becoming highly paid consultants, and consultants taking forever to get environmental impact reports to developers, it’s honestly getting hard to watch. If this were Shakespeare, it would be a tragedy. And we’d want our money back.

*throws rotten tomatoes*

Elizabethan drollery aside, the hardships of locating solar sites are no joke. If we can’t pave an easier way to finding and developing these parcels, we will fall dismally short of our renewable energy and power generation goals for the coming decades. That means more emissions, climate change, expensive energy sources, less sustainability, and less independence from fossil fuels and the countries selling them to us.

… does anybody have more tomatoes?

The good news is, there is good news.

The second piece of good news is that we have that good news right here, in the form of our latest eBook. It includes:

  • 20 environmental risks solar developers face and mitigation strategies to avoid them
  • 20 hacks for shortening your search and striking solar gold
  • One extremely compelling solution to the challenges of the solar energy industries land race
  • 0 additional Shakespeare jokes; we swear

Want to learn more? Read on. Or, if you can’t bear to wait even one more moment to see if we kept that Shakespeare promise, just skip to the eBook.


Risky Business … And Not in the Good Way

Renewable energy development, especially the creation of solar energy facilities, is an inherently risky prospect, mainly because prospecting plays a significant role in every solar project.

That’s not inherently bad; plenty of successful businesses are built based on research, surveys, exploration, and good old-fashioned hunches. But the potential roadblocks in finding solar sites are enormous today, and the antiquated paradigms that still rule the game are doing nothing more than getting in the way.
Seriously, the roadblocks have roadblocks.

This can be confusing because finding the right solar energy development site sounds like a pretty simple task on paper. Yet understanding the basics of energy technologies and energy projects doesn’t mean you can easily find actual space to set up. On the contrary, it’s getting more complicated all the time. In many ways, the processes for finding potential sites and completing environmental due diligence on them are stuck in the past.

That said, you don’t have to accept this state of affairs. While scouting and assessment aren’t themselves obsolete, the tools we use to do that are.

We can change that.

Our system has many moving parts, all seamlessly working as one, and it looks a little something like this:

  • Taking more innovative approaches to search for sites, like skipping the environmental consulting line and seeing the challenges we face clearly
  • Using high-tech tools that don’t rely on the slow, accident-prone human mind but instead leverage machine learning and the power of the internet

No, that doesn’t mean we’re here for the robopocalypse. Because, scary.

We just like solar installations that get the job done faster and put solar power in the hands of the people sooner … and we’ll tell you all about it in our eBook, which is only one click of a button away.

Solar Risks


Worth Their Weight in Gold: Smart Hacks for Finding Sites

Like anything else in life, there are good ways and bad ways to go about searching for large areas of land. The traditional process looks a little something like this:

  • Get lists of potential sites from the “bird-doggers,” folks whose whole biz is to rustle up options and sell them off to developers
  • Pass off those sites to environmental consultants, who dig up the (ostensibly) complete details on each one, from environmental due diligence to tribal concerns to geography and more
  • Sit around waiting for weeks for an expensive report that may or may not give you the go-ahead to break ground.
  • Stare soulfully into your Canadian Club, Don Draper-style

Look, the 20th century was a weird time. Maybe people enjoyed this kind of thing back when environmental regulations were new, and due diligence processes were first being streamlined. But this simply won’t work in the modern age.
Which is why we’re going to help you do it differently.


In this eBook, you’ll find multiple assets, all free. These include:

  • A complete list of the risks solar developers face
  • A comprehensive set of actionable steps to take next time you’re seeking solar land
  • A downloadable and printable checklist of handy hacks

A thorough explanation of how you can update your solar siting process for the 21st century, find more viable sites, and spend less time watching projects fail

Need more info? Take a look below for a few peeks behind the curtain.

Solar Hacks


Sneak Peek: What to Expect From This eBook

Now, we get it. Your email is also worth its weight in gold, and you don’t want to give it to just anyone. Both AT&T and Aunt Hilda already have it, for God’s sake, and should a body really have to bear more than that in this life?? We say no.

On the other hand, you’re only one form away from getting access to the dozens of risks and hacks we offer in our eBook, all for free. Check it …


The risks to large-scale projects include:

  • NIMBY and hostility toward solar energy systems
  • Delays in interconnecting and upgrade costs for transmission lines
  • Change of environmental protection rules, zoning, and regulations
  • Misunderstanding of the environmental process
  • More environmentally complex properties than ever before
  • Overreliance on consultants, lack of consultant experience, and plain old consultant error

… among many others that you need to know about if you’re going to stay competitive and make a difference in the world. Luckily, we cover that in the next section.


Not to brag, but our abundant list of actionable solar search hacks will simplify your current process and save you many headaches, heartache, and late-in-the-game disappointment. Some of our favorites are:

  • Landing on the right price … without racing to the bottom
  • How to leverage local expertise
  • Which properties to watch out for
  • … and which to throw yourself at like a nerd asking the head cheerleader to the prom (very brave, Winston!)
  • Which applications combine well with solar
  • Innovative preliminary steps to take
  • The right approach to environmental due diligence

Those are just a few examples of the dozens we offer in the eBook, including a downloadable checklist you can use when heading out on your next solar search. So whether you build a few small solar farms a year or are full-on utility-scale, these hacks will help you succeed.

Also, you should know that you don’t have to play the same old tired environmental consulting game when looking for sites. Instead, you can skip the line and opt for bank-ready environmental reports in minutes. More information is in the eBook, too, so download it now to get all the deets!


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