Choosing a land plot for SPP: TOP-5 recommendations from EDS-Development

1. Construction area by insolation parameters, shape and slope of the plot.

The level of solar insolation depends on the choice of the construction area. Geographically, the territory of Ukraine has indicators from 1400 kW per year per 1 square meter in Kherson region to 1180 kW per year per 1 square meter in Lviv and other western regions. The difference in insolation will not have a significant impact on the payback period and effectiveness of SPP, because energy conversion efficiency can be increased by the right choice of photovoltaic modules, inverters, competent design solution.

A striking example is Poland, where the insolation level in the southernmost regions is equal to the minimum in Ukraine while the country is equally built up with efficient solar energy facilities.

The shape, terrain and slope of the plot are pretty intuitive parameters. Of course, the square shape and simple terrain of the land plot will be preferable, because difficulties in these parameters entail additional challenges and costs. Also take into account the orientation of the land plot, the best arrangement of rackings with photovoltaic panels will be on the southern slope.

Інсоляційна карта України
Інсоляційна карта Європи

2. The plot must be an object of civil law rights and have the correct designation

That is, the area, borders should be determined, and information about the land plot must be registered in State Land Cadastre. Usually, the formation of a land plot occurs through the development and approval by the local authorities of the land management project for allotment of land plots from state and communal property lands or through subdivision or merger of previously formed land plots.

Also, the corresponding target designation of land plot - 14.01 – is mandatory for alternative energy facilities. Such designation is most often assigned to plots that are not suitable for agriculture, territories with difficult terrain, nevertheless suitable for industrial construction.

Information provided by the seller is very easy to check on the Internet - the public cadastral map of Ukraine contains data on all land plots, and by comparing the information with the satellite map, you can view all the details.

3. Compliance of land plot location with requirements of urban planning legislation

It is worth reminding that any settlement and surrounding lands have their own master plan. Allotment of the land must correspond to the designation of the industrial zone. The construction of any facilities that do not comply with the master plan is prohibited. 

Of course, the law provides for the possibility of amending the urban planning documents of settlements. But remember that it is a long and very expensive procedure as when making changes, public hearings and state expertise are held.

Thoroughly examine the status of the land plot in terms of urban planning legislation and determine whether it is possible to build an industrial solar power plant on it.

Зразок плана території селища

4. Analyze the connection parameters of the facility to external electrical grids - this is almost the main characteristic of the land plot

Industrial SPP must transfer the generated energy to external power grids. The conditions for connecting facilities are determined in law by the relevant regulations.

  • Check the grids passing nearby - location, voltage level, length of overhead lines, addresses and names of transformer substations, capacities of distribution substations, distance from the land plot to the point of connection to the grid.
    • Unfortunately, there is no complete interactive map of grids, only 6 regions of Ukraine provided accurate data, in each case it's needed to search for information.
  • • Make a calculation of the cost of connection, it will depend on the region and territory (rural or urban), voltage degree at the point of connection – figures are publicly available (Appendix 11 to the resolution of National commission that implements state regulation in the fields of energy and utilities 28.12.2018 № 2069). Connection costs can vary significantly, for example, if it is necessary to construct / reconstruct a substation or lay electrical transmission lines over a long distance.
  • The main advice of this section: if you do not have experience in checking the above mentioned parameters, it is better to contact specialists who are dealing with external connection. In the legislative and economic situation of our country, the price of mistake in calculating the terms, cost and risks in general is too high.

5. Quality of the soil, availability of communications, facilities, remoteness from the main transport arteries, level of development of the surrounding infrastructure

Optimally, if geological and engineering-geodetic surveys have already been carried out, you get reliable information about the geological section, level of groundwater, physicochemical characteristics of soil. Geodetic data, respectively, contain topographic data, information about the terrain, technogenic and natural conditions of the land plot. If not, the services for these surveys can be ordered.

Check the availability of access roads and highways in order to subsequently avoid significant financial risk. It is necessary to check on whose land the access road passes and who owns the territory. When choosing a plot, make sure that approach to it is available at any time of the year and in any weather.

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