The very characteristics which make solar farm sites attractive to build are unfortunately also the ones that, without protection, can also make them attractive to vandals.
The solar farm sites are usually less vulnerable to neighborhood opposition, rural and away from other structures such as airports or neighborhoods. But their relatively obscure locations are what cause their vulnerability. We recommend security measures to all owners of our solar farms for these reasons.
Video surveillance systems are the most obvious impediments to vandalism. But unless monitored in real time, these systems only help catch delinquents when the damage is already done. That’s too late.
Fences with razor wire have also become attractive in Western states. But again, these systems have their drawbacks. As any Border Patrol officer can attest, holes in the chain link parts of the fence are easily breached. Even all three methods combined are often insufficient. If the project is larger scale, large-scale measures can be necessary if the farms are plagued by vandals.
Some companies have developed perimeter systems which can monitor areas of up to nine square miles through an easy method small enough to fit in your pocket — your cell phone. The system immediately alerts you to any breach in the virtual fence and sends an alert to your cell or your computer. These systems also work with iPhones, iPads and other tablets.
Some of these systems even offer incentives to alert security officers monitoring the surveillance method if they stop vandals in their own tracks. They also offer “disincentives” to those who fail to catch breaches.
Some solar farm financing companies or developers offer and sometimes require Operations and Management contracts. These can cover everything from manmade damage to those losses due to soil erosion, hail damages or weed overgrowth. Green Energy Investments of this magnitude need to be protected to insure your long term returns.
Large scale farms must be protected if vandals damage your investment.