LARGE-SCALE solar power projects are set to make a comeback as costs decline, according to an independent power consultant.

Roadnight Taylor says demand for large-scale solar is set for a revival – with developers returning to the market after three years of impasse – and landowners should act now to secure rental agreements.

Hugh Taylor, chief executive, said: “In 2015, the Government announced the end of the Feed-in-Tariff and Renewable Obligation incentives, which killed the solar market.

“Since then, the renewables industry has been waiting for a time when the cost of solar technology has reduced sufficiently to make further schemes worthwhile.”

Solar costs have since reduced by 20-30 per cent a year, at the same time as wholesale energy prices have soared by nearly 60 per cent – which means developers are back in the market.

Mr Taylor said: “Solar operators are starting to secure power purchase agreements with large corporate organisations like Amazon and Google, which have committed to using 100 per cent renewable energy.

“These operators anticipate the first schemes to be built in 2019, with the pace picking up into 2021 and 2022.”

He said developers are already on the lookout for suitable sites. Typically, these will be upwards of 40 acres, relatively flat and in an area of good solar irradiation. Importantly, they will also be in an area with good grid connection capacity remaining.

Mr Taylor said: “Ground rents will vary considerably depending on the site, but offers can exceed £150,000 a year for a 25-year lease for larger schemes.”

However, he said it was important for landowners to act fast – because grid capacity is severely limited. “If there is capacity on your part of the network it will only be enough for one scheme. If you’ve got a good site you need to secure that capacity for yourself before someone gets in first.”

To get the best deal, it’s also vital to act independently from a developer, warns Mr Taylor. “You should take professional advice – our ‘Stop/Go’ study costs from £350 to see whether a site has true potential. We can then secure the grid rights for you, and market your site to multiple developers so you retain control and get the best terms available.”

For more information, contact Roadnight Taylor on 01993 830571 or see