As demand for renewable energy grows nationwide, solar developers are on the hunt for parcels of land to house community solar farms. For many landowners looking for a way to leverage income with their land without pouring valuable resources into developing it, leasing land for solar development can be the perfect solution. When leasing land for solar, landowners can receive long-term passive income with no out-of-pocket expense required to design, implement, or maintain solar farm arrays and other equipment.

Can You Make Money Off Your Land?

Solar developers are looking for land that meets the requirements of their solar projects, and your parcel may be just what they’re looking for! A few primary elements can help you determine if your land meets the initial criteria to start earning passive, generational income by leasing for solar.

Land Size

Solar farm development typically requires a minimum of ten to fifteen acres to get a project up and running. Of course, it all depends on the size of the solar project. While most of the land is utilized for solar arrays, a certain amount of space known as a solar panel setback needs to be established for safety. Solar professionals must be able to access panels and move about the solar farm easily.

Land Characteristics

An ideal parcel of land is clear, relatively flat, and receives satisfactory sunlight exposure year-round. Any obstacles to sunlight reaching solar panels, such as trees, need to be removed by solar developers. Wetlands and land with protected natural habitats can make it difficult to develop a solar farm. Land with rolling hills can also inhibit a solar panel’s ability to capture optimal sunlight. Areas prone to flooding may require a solar developer to employ additional resources to mount solar arrays safely or create proper drainage systems.


Your land needs to be in close proximity to three-phase distribution lines, which, in turn, need to be close to electrical grids or substations. When solar farms convert sunlight into electricity, it must be easily distributed for consumption. Most solar developers prefer solar farm projects to be within two miles of an electrical grid. Otherwise, they may need to spend more money to ensure the transfer of power. It’s also helpful if your land has access roads for solar professionals to install solar arrays safely and maintain them throughout the lease.

How To Make Money Off Your Land

With several states, including New York, committing to growing renewable energy production to 100% renewables by 2030, land is in high demand. Solar developers can do an assessment and handle all the research to determine the suitability of your land for solar development. If you move forward and enter into a lease agreement with a solar developer, they handle all the costs associated with designing, installing, and maintaining the solar farm. You make money by simply providing vacant land for solar professionals to house their solar farm for a pre-determined period of time. A typical lease length can range from twenty to forty years. Known as “rents,” each solar acre can earn anywhere from $250 to $2000. Most lease agreements follow a fixed rental rate structure; annual rates increase steadily from 1.5% to 2.5%, depending on what the lease stipulates. Just how much revenue your acreage can generate depends on a few factors.

Market Demand

If there is a high demand for renewable energy in your area but limited land for community solar farm development, your land can potentially see a higher rent rate.

Land Quality

The closer your land fits the ideal requirements for a solar farm project, the better your chance of securing a better lease rate. Solar developers can save a lot of money if they don’t have to do extensive work to meet their needs, such as adding distribution lines to connect the solar farm to an electrical grid, overhauling access roads, or retrofitting solar arrays to handle flooding concerns.

Of course, each case is unique. A full evaluation by a solar developer is needed to know exactly how much money your land can make when leasing for solar.

Why Lease Your Land for Solar?

Dormant acreage doesn’t yield income. Cultivating the land for agricultural purposes can take significant time and resources. Crop production can be unpredictable, making the return on investment (ROI) unpredictable at best. Leasing your land for solar can eliminate these concerns while providing a steady dependable cash flow. The following are 4 benefits to leasing your land for solar:

Steady and Predictable Income

With solar leases lasting anywhere from twenty to forty years, landowners can count on steady, passive income for decades. The rate increases by a fixed, pre-determined percentage as each year passes. Landowners can simply sit back, relax, and collect money!

Zero Investment

Collecting money without lifting a finger may feel counterintuitive, but that’s the beauty of leasing your land for solar. Solar developers will handle everything from landscaping to updating access roads, preserving drainage systems, and more. Any headaches that come with designing, installing, or maintaining the solar farm throughout the lease are the responsibility of solar professionals.


When you lease your land for a solar farm project, you contribute to creating clean, renewable energy. Solar farms produce zero emissions, and will not contaminate the soil or water supply unlike fossil fuel power plants. Reducing dangerous greenhouse gasses and excessive amounts of carbon dioxide are critical as we face climate change.

Community Support

Community solar farms provide renewable energy for businesses and residents alike. Subscribers can enjoy a guaranteed 10% reduction in their utility bills. With eco-friendly solar energy, everyone wins!

Solar Land Leasing with US Light Energy

US Light Energy is a New York-based distributed generation energy development company specializing in Community Solar and renewable energy solutions. With over thirty years of experience, US Light Energy has developed a unique feasibility process in which we analyze multiple aspects of every property to drive the most value per acre while positioning a project for success. At USLE we “partner” with our landowners by providing full transparency and open communication throughout the process ensuring the best possible outcome for everyone. If you’re interested in earning passive income while contributing to clean, renewable energy in your community, then leasing land for solar may be right for you. US Light Energy is leading the charge for a new generation. Contact us today to apply for land leasing!

Schedule a Consultation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.