Perimeter Fencing

Figure 1  Example of Fencing in Desert Regions. Source: Bureau of Land Management, Essex.

Most utility-scale solar facilities will require the placement of perimeter fencing. The fencing will serve two primary functions: security, and as an environmental barrier to keep wildlife out of the project site (Figure 1). Table 1 provides the fencing estimates that were supplied by the project developers in each of their project applications.

Table 1. Fencing Estimates for select "Fast Track" Solar Facility Proposals in California. (*All estimates are taken from the Application for Certification materials)
Proposal Name Nameplate Capacity (MW) Fencing Estimate (in acres)
City of Palmdale - Hybrid Gas-Solar 62 377.0
San Joaquin Solar 1 & 2 106.8 640.0
Rice Solar Energy Project 150 1410.0
Solar Millennium - Ridgecrest 250 1440.0
Beacon Solar Energy Project 250 2012.0
Abengoa Mojave 250 1765.0
Genesis Solar 250 1800.0
Ivanpah 400 3400.0
Solar Millennium - Palen 484 2974.0
Imperical Valley (formerly Solar Two) 750 6500.0
Calico (formerly Solar One) 850 8230.0
Solar Millennium - Blythe 1000.0 5952.0
AVERAGE 400.2 3,042

There is a wide range in the amount of area that each project proposal plans to fence, with the average being 3,042 acres, which is nearly five square miles (Table 1). Facilities with larger nameplate capacities show a tendency to have higher amounts of proposed fencing and may have a larger facility footprint. This range is also partly due to the fact that each project proposal plans to fence a different portion of their generating infrastructure. Some of the project proposals include fencing around the solar generating panels, the power block and associated buildings, and the permanent parking areas, while other project proposals include plans to fence the entire “disturbance” area, comprising all of the above areas in addition to the access roads and some of the transmission infrastructure. The results of the graph in Figure 2 also indicate that there is no significant relationship between the amount of area to be fenced and the technology type.

Figure 2  Fencing Estimates and Technology Type of Solar Facilities in California.