Solar Farms – How they work and is your land eligible for a land rental?

by Solar Selections on September 6, 2012

Solar Farms are a new and secure approach to farming your land. Farmers from southern UK are quickly acknowledging the benefits associated with renting their land out to accommodate for a Solar Farm.

Over the last few months there have been a number of large solar panel installations completed across the south of the UK. These have been in the form of Solar Farms.

How does funding work for Solar Farms?

In order for a farmer to benefit from renting out their farm land for a Solar Farm, a fund is required to finance the whole project. Solar Selections works with a number of funds to help provide farmers with a range of options to help source the most favorable land rental rates. To do this Solar Selections will put the opportunity out to tender amongst all of our funded options.

Once the client has established a favored fund Solar Selections will arrange for the fund to meet with the client to arrange for contracts to be discussed and signed off. As soon as the agreement with a fund is finalised the fund will then look to go through the motion of applying for planning and grid connection permission. Once these are in hand, the installation of the Solar Panels can commence. Upon completion of the Solar Installation the rental payments will commence for the next 20 years.

When the rental contract expires the usual arrangement is for either the fund to remove the Solar Farm or for the Solar Farm to be handed over to the landowner at no cost. The former option is the most viable as this has the potential to continue to generate revenues in the £100’000′s per annum. However, BEWARE, the planning permission provided on Solar Farms can have a time restriction often the length of the rental contract (20yrs). This means that a reapplication will be required if the Solar Farm is to remain in place after the 20yr period.

What makes a Farm viable for a Solar Land Rental Arrangement?

Below Solar Selections has established a list of criteria which are the basic requirements for a site to be viable for a Solar Farm and a Solar Land Rental arrangement. The answer to all of these questions should be YES for any viable site:

1. Is the farm land flat and free of rocks?

2. Is the land free of shadows?

3. Is the farm land well drained and easily accessed?

4. Is the proposed plot hidden from roads and buildings?

5.  Does the farm land have an 11kVA or 33kVA line within 2km of the site?

6. Is the property yet to install any Solar PV?

7. Is the farm land outside any areas of outstanding natural beauty?

8. Is the land south of Birmingham?

Special note: any brownfield sites that satisfy the criteria above are highly viable as these are much easier to gain planning for.

If you have any land that you would consider for a Solar Farm, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the viability of your site. Solar Selections (020 7205 2267) is a cost and obligation free service.

Written By Solar Selections.

© 2012 Solar Selections

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

J Martin September 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

Great article, very helpful. It would appear farming solar is turning into a more and more common thought.

I have a large plot of land in Gloucestershire and shall email you some details.

James Martin


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