Large-scale solar plants have been fast-tracked under the Obama Administration. Instigated by government-guaranteed, low-interest loans, sometimes covering up to 80% of the construction costs, these large-scale plants have popped up everywhere. In fact, the government has dedicated over $16 billion for renewable-energy projects thus far.
Developers love the larger-scale projects –they are financially efficient. Their size, however, creates higher costs for rate payers and transmission inefficiencies.
On the flip side, small-scale solar plants have the ability to generate electricity at a lower cost to consumers while being more eco-friendly. Most of these small plants are located in deserts areas so they can’t do much damage to the surround area and environment.
Recent studies project that California may derive a substantial percentage of its energy needs from rooftop solar installations, according to recent studies. So, whether on suburban homes or city roofs or atop big-box stores, it very well may be small solar plants that save the day and generate a larger quantity of energy when the total of all is added up collectively.
The Obama Administration faces some criticism from smaller solar plants. Janine Blaeloch, the director of the nonprofit Western Lands Project said when the federal policy was initially developed, smaller plants were never even considered. She feels the path chosen is damaging and ignores the great potential of small solar plants.