Carriger Solar

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We hear you! Below are answers to questions that we've been asked at open houses, in public meetings, and when we're out and about in the community.
Why Solar?

Solar power is a clean and domestic source of energy, contributing to the state’s and the country’s energy independence.

Solar facilities capture naturally occurring sunlight and convert it to clean, renewable energy on a scale large enough to supply electricity for daily living in our homes, businesses and schools.

Will Carriger Solar Impact Wildlife or the Environment?

The Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requires that projects like Carriger Solar study and avoid or provide measures that reduce the human and environmental impacts of the project. This is a requirement both for state and county level permitting.

 

Cypress Creek has performed numerous third-party wildlife, plant, noise, glare, and habitat studies on and around the potential project area. These studies have been critical to understanding biodiversity, habitat impacts and wildlife passage needs, the results of which were then incorporated into project micro-siting and the comprehensive permitting applications. For example, we intend to build wildlife corridors into the design of the project.

Do Solar Panels Affect the Quality of the Air, Soil or Groundwater?

Panels undergo rigorous testing by independent organizations and have been proven to have no adverse effect on soil, groundwater or the atmosphere. Even if the glass that encases the panels is broken or damaged, there is no danger of leakage or spillage, as all the materials within are all solid-state. However, solar panels are highly durable and designed to withstand extreme weather, including hail and thunderstorms.

 

Furthermore, by reducing reliance on fossil-fuel power plants, solar prevents the emission of thousands of cubic tons of harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Is Solar Equipment Safe?

Solar equipment meets the highest national code, ANSI and UL standards. Cypress Creek solar projects are operated and monitored remotely through state-of-the-art operating facilities, with local technicians to manage maintenance and emergency response. The safety of our facilities is our top priority.

Does Solar Permanently Remove Land From Agricultural Use?

Solar equipment does not permanently alter the land, which can be returned to agricultural use after decommissioning. The land is not paved over, and the soil is not drilled into nor damaged. The land is allowed to lie fallow, which helps improve the soil quality over time, making it ideal for farming after the solar facility is gone (if landowners choose to farm).

Who is Responsible for Decommissioning?

Cypress Creek is responsible for all assessment costs, development costs, property taxes, and ongoing maintenance related to the project. Once the lease has ended, we will remove all equipment and modules from the site and we will be responsible for any associated costs.

What Occurs During Decommissioning?

Decommissioning will occur if the land lease expires or is terminated, or if the solar energy system does not produce power for an established period of time. The project operator will do the following as a minimum to decommission the site:

  1. Remove all operator-owned equipment, conduits, structures, and foundations to a depth of at least three feet below grade; and
  2. Remove all fencing unless the owner of the leased real estate requests in writing for it to stay in place; and
  3. Take the following steps to restore the land:
  • Grade to maintain existing drainage patterns at the time of decommissioning unless stated otherwise by the leading Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) or in any governing decommissioning ordinance;
  • Re-seed the land using local non-invasive grasses; and
  • Maintain the grass for a total of three months after the seeding.
What is the Impact on Tax Revenue and How Does the Community Benefit?

It is estimated that Carriger Solar Project will create hundreds of full-time jobs during its construction phase. Solar projects like Carriger Solar also typically support jobs for goods and services to maintain the project site and support the workers during construction. These jobs include property management, real estate, food service and hospitality.

 

After construction, is it estimated that Carriger Solar will create a few long-term, high paying jobs. We expect that these employees will live in or near the project area.

 

Clean energy projects can also attract new employers that have businesses and facilities with high energy use and sustainability-conscious investors.

What Battery Equipment Will the Project Use?

Advancements in energy storage technology are reshaping today’s energy landscape. Cypress Creek is developing solar plus storage and standalone storage projects. These batteries employ the same lithium-ion technology as appliances such as smartphones or hardware tools, at a larger scale. On site battery systems are similar in appearance to solar inverters. Typically, batteries are enclosed in a metal container not to exceed 11 feet in height, with varying lengths depending on the project size.

Are Batteries Safe?

Cypress Creek works with its suppliers to ensure our energy storage systems are built with safety as the number one priority. Lithium-ion batteries are a proven technology used in over 94% of all grid-scale projects in the United States. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and ConEdison recently commissioned a study to investigate Energy Storage System (ESS) fire safety. The findings within the final report suggest that batteries do not spontaneously combust; rather, combustion events are triggered by external abuses. To protect against these potential abuses, Lithium ion batteries must pass a series of stress tests to ensure safety in transport, and to prove that they will not catch fire even under extreme conditions. Systems are equipped with a sophisticated Battery Management System that automatically corrects for any irregularities in current, voltage, or temperature at the individual cell level. As a failsafe, containers are equipped with fire suppression systems. Energy storage system designs are containerized and sealed to prevent any leakage of materials. Containers are locked like other equipment on our solar sites to prevent unauthorized entry.

How are Batteries Decommissioned?

The end of life of our projects is just as important as the completion of construction. Cypress Creek works with our suppliers to ensure safe and effective methods to recycle and dispose of all batteries. Our approach to battery disposal and recycling covers every step of the process from battery system dismantling through to material processing and recovery.

Will Nearby Property Values be Impacted?

Cypress Creek is committed to developing projects that take into consideration the character of the area. To this end, we engage with professional appraisers to evaluate any potential impact. Cypress Creek intends to conduct a comprehensive property value study as part of the permitting and community engagement process for this project using third-party property assessors to provide objective reports of analyses, impacts, and conclusions on land use compatibility. In many states around the country, studies by local appraisers have found no negative impact on surrounding property values. (SEIA Solar Property Value Fact Sheet; Leila Al-Hamoodah, et al., “An Exploration of Property-Value Impacts Near Utility-Scale Solar Installations”, Austin, The University of Texas at Austin, May 2018; Megan Wang, “Impact of Utility-Scale Solar Farms on Property Values in North Carolina,” Durham, Duke University, 2022)

Will the Project be Visually Invasive or Cause Glare?

Solar panels are low-profile (normally 12 feet or less in height), and typically set back from roads and neighboring properties to minimize visual impact. (Click here to see renderings of what the project may look like once complete.) Cypress Creek has conducted comprehensive glare studies from multiple elevations to ensure that Carriger Solar will have no glare impact on surrounding locations such as airports, roads or residences.

Should Landowners be Allowed to Use Their Land for Solar?

Many landowners have expressed to us that they should have the freedom to use their private property in whatever way makes the most financial sense for themselves and their families, as long as they are not endangering others. Whether it’s to harvest crops or harvest the sun, it’s their prerogative, and it’s the American way.

Where Will the Electricity be Transmitted? Will it Stay in Washington State?

The power generated by Carriger Solar Project will be sold to a Washington distributor, and will be used to power thousands of businesses and homes within the state.

How Will Carriger Engage the Public?

Carriger Solar strives to exceed permitting expectations with regard to community outreach and engagement. This is why we are proud members of several community organizations and have been in contact with dozens of community leaders across Klickitat County. Our project team has also hosted several community meetings to provide information about the project, answer questions from local residents, and receive feedback on the proposed design so we can further refine our plans.

 

A substantial part of our community engagement efforts include our commitment to provide accurate information to our project’s stakeholders. This is why our development team has been providing standard project briefings to elected officials, county representatives, the business community and local residents since 2019.

 

Aside from providing information about Carriger Solar itself, Cypress Creek actively strives to be involved partners in the communities where we develop, which means listening to the wants and needs of the community and providing financial or volunteer assistance where possible. Our Community Engagement team is actively engaging with the community surrounding Carriger Solar to understand where financial assistance is needed and will continue to do so through the life of the project. 

What Will the Project Size Be?

The Carriger project is similar in size to other projects we have developed and currently operate, including Wagyu in Texas.

How Can We Voice Our Support for Solar and Renewables?

Join our supporter list here. We will share regular updates on the project and inform local residents of engagement opportunities.