Black Bear Solar FAQs

We’ve received lots of interest in our Black Bear Solar Project, so we’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions, and their answers:

Who is paying for the installation of the solar system?

Lightsource bp financed, built and will own, operate and maintain the solar system. The project is not being funded by AMEA customers nor Alabama residents. AMEA pays Lightsource bp for the renewable energy generated by the systems at a fixed cost for 20 years.

Will Montgomery County residents see an increase in their power bills?

No – the solar project will create energy bill savings for AMEA’s customers. The project is expected to save AMEA at least $40 million over 20 years.

Are solar farms irreversible development?

No – At the end of the project, the installation will be dismantled, completely removed and recycled.

How are the panels kept clean?

Generally, rainfall helps to keep the panels free of dust and dirt.

Are solar farms noisy?

No – you would not expect to hear any noise beyond the site boundary.

Do solar farms pose a health or safety risk?

No – A solar farm is about as safe as a facility can be. There are no air emissions from the facility. Solar is a passive technology which doesn’t produce any harmful by-products. There are no chemicals. The power will leave the solar farm on lines just like the power lines in your neighborhood.

Is there a danger to motorists or aircraft as a result of reflection from the panels?

No – solar panels are designed to absorb light rather than reflect it. The more sunlight a solar panel absorbs, the more electricity it can produce. Lightsource bp has commissioned several ‘glint and glare’ assessments as part of our planning process, to confirm that glare is not an issue.

What will the impact be on wildlife?

Studies have confirmed that solar farms can bring about increases in wildlife populations and biodiversity on the land. They are secure sites with little disturbance from humans or machinery once installation is complete. At Black Bear, Lightsource bp developed a detailed vegetation plan in partnership with Conservation Blueprint to boost biodiversity and create habitat under and around the solar panels for pollinator species like bees and butterflies.

Is there an impact on flood risk?

No – the posts on which the panels are mounted typically take up less than 10% of the land area, with the majority of the site being vegetation.

Will the solar farm cause traffic disruption?

Once a solar project is in place it requires minimal maintenance vehicles, which would cause no traffic disruption.