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Large Solar Farm Security

4 Unexpected Benefits of Surveillance Systems for Solar Farms

By Carlos Hazbun | Substation Security | No Comments

4 Unexpected Benefits of Surveillance Systems for Solar Farms

“Solar theft” is a problem that needs addressing on solar farms in the United States and around the world. These panels, while prices are falling, are still extremely valuable and a high priority target for criminals who want an easy sell on the black market. And it’s not just farms and homes falling victim. Even innovative infrastructure such as China’s Solar Road — a highway covered completely in solar panels — is losing panels to theft.

Solar farms are huge areas that can be difficult to protect, and they’re vulnerable to theft in the same ways agricultural farms are when not properly secured and protected. Here are four reasons why good solar farm security is worth every penny.

Real-Time Employee Alerts

Some notifications, such as a breach or vandalism, seem like an obvious benefit, but it’s not just criminal acts that should be on your company’s radar. Natural occurrences such as dust storms and debris from foul weather can cost thousands in damage if unaddressed. Outdoor security cameras and a comprehensive surveillance system can notify employees on duty before repair bill creeps up and does a number to your bottom line.

Save Costs on Security Guards

Solar farms can be enormous, even bigger than agriculture farms. A 20-megawatt solar farm is more than 100 acres in size and protecting a perimeter of that size with human security guards is simply not economically feasible (each guard can cost up to $40,000 per year in salary and benefits). Security guards are great for entrances and exits, tracking employees and guests and even act as an extra layer of customer service, but outdoor security cameras are what fill the gaps so your security team can do more with less.

Focus Your Attention

A thorough wireless security camera system should include motion sensors and cameras able to move and adjust to where motion is detected. Think back to that 100-acre solar farm. Even cameras have a tough time covering every inch at all times, so a good motion detection system can help each camera focus on the areas that matter most in a given time. Those cameras should also have manual control if a member of the security teams wants to take a second look at a specific location (helpful for dust storm and weather damage).

Potential Savings on Insurance

A car with an alarm system or security features like Lo-Jack have the potential for cheaper insurance than the same car without those features. The same can go for your solar farm when it’s equipped with a comprehensive outdoor wireless security camera system. Check with your local insurance providers to see which benefits and discounts apply to you, but expect the drop in crime and damage to pay returns on your insurance premiums.

Imagine going back to your boss, shareholders or board of directors with the news that you were able to reduce damage from dust storms and other harsh weather, slim down on overhead by hiring fewer security guards, focusing on problem areas where motion was detected, and even lowered enormous insurance premiums that many solar farms carry.