Suitable farm sites for panels sought

OPPORTUNITY: A solar panel farm, which could soon spring up in the North

OPPORTUNITY: A solar panel farm, which could soon spring up in the North

First published in Farming

FARMERS in the North of England have been encouraged to investigate solar energy.

Resolved Renewables, a part of ADAS environmental and agricultural consultancy group, is searching for solar PV sites on farms in the North.

The company offers opportunities to farmers to develop renewable energy projects on their land.

Helen Wyman, farm and renewable energy consultant at the company, said that with the right combination of factors such as relatively flat land and close proximity to a 33kV power line to connect panels to the grid, more farmers could and should reconsider solar as a viable alternative to wind or biomass.

She said: “For obvious reasons, the solar industry has focused on regions where the sunlight is most intense, but there are acres of potential farther north – especially on low yielding or marginal croplands.

“As long as the right factors are in place to keep development costs down, landowners in northern counties can benefit from solar PV.”

However, she warned that Government incentives associated with on-farm renewable energy production will be periodically reduced from April 2014 that will squeeze the profitability of schemes.

Farmers need to lodge their interest now to ensure potential schemes are generating before March 31, 2014.

“With site analysis, feasibility, planning applications and construction, were looking at a 12-month lead time, so farmers need to act now before rates are reduced.”

Visit re-solved.co.uk or call 0845 766 0085 for details.

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