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... for greater sustainability and local resilience

Farm Renewable Energy

Can you generate enough electricity on the farm not to have to pay any electricity bills ever again? Or even get paid something back? How is that done? What are the costs? Discuss here

Solar: Good investment for farmers

Judging by the latest installed capacity figures, it would certainly seem so.

Commercial PV systems ranging from 10kWp to 50kWp are now outstripping the < 4kWp domestic systems that have to date accounted for the vast majority of installations. The ROI on a 50Kwp System which can vary between 15 and 25 per cent is becoming a very attractive proposition.

There are also several important drivers.

At the moment there are many sources of affordable and accessible finance deals available for renewable Projects such as Solar PV.
Tax breaks are very attractive.
The cost of installation has fallen by over 60 per cent and a 50kWp system can now be mounted on a farm building roof for anywhere between £47,000 and £60,000.
Solar actually provides an excellent ROI compared to other more traditional farm enterprises
The spiralling costs of electricity mean that high energy consumers should be able to make long-term cost savings.
Maintenance costs should be low
The installation will help to minimise the farm’s overall carbon footprint
However, it’s not all plain sailing. The infrastructure of the National Grid was never designed for a two way flow of electricity and this can often lead to significant upgrade costs (at the farmers cost) and with a 100KVA transformer coming in at £30,000 it be a real headache. However, finding out options you have from your District Network Operator (DNO) is pretty straightforward and barring Scottish Power Energy Networks (£500) this is usually free. Your proposed installer should be able to complete a G59/2 Application on your behalf (and for free) and you should have your answer within six weeks. A proposed high cost network upgrade is not always needed and there are now several energy management products on the market that can mitigate upgrade costs by up to £20,000.

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