Solar farms are the large-scale application of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations used to generate electricity. They often cover large areas of land (between 1 and 100 acres) and therefore they are usually developed in rural locations. Approximately 25 acres of land is required for every 5 megawatts (MW) of installation, enough to power 1,515 homes. Ground mounted Solar Farms require planning permission & electricity grid consent, both of which Atlantic Renewables provide as part of our service.
The most obvious benefit of a solar farm is environmental, with the sun being a clean renewable source of energy. Farming brings a multitude of risks. Farmers often face far too frequent disease epidemics to their animals. Whilst some crops may a have a poor yield and livestock prices may fluctuate. Whereas Solar has zero running costs, provides a stable 20 year financial income, whilst allowing for the land to still be used for crops and grazing cattle. The financial rewards make solar an ideal investment for landowners and farmers alike.
Whether self-financed or not, there are numerous ways to finance solar farming, with private loans and banks ready to finance projects. Atlantic Renewables work with approved lenders who can help finance your scheme. Solar panel prices now affordable to the masses these farms could well be the future of the world’s energy sources.
The major financial benefit of Solar is through payments under the Feed-In-Tariff scheme (FITs) or the Renewables Obligation Certification scheme (ROCs). These are monthly or quarterly funds paid directly into your bank account.
How the Feed In Tariff Scheme Works
Generation tariff: your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (20 years) and are index-linked to the rate of inflation. Please see FIT rates table below.
Export tariff: you will receive a further 4.64p/kWh from your energy supplier for each unit you that is not used on site and exported back to the electricity grid.
Energy bill savings: The free clean electricity generated from the Solar Panels is used on site to power farm equipment, avoiding costs of around 10-14 pence per kWh.
For a site-specific calculation and bespoke report showing how much you could earn through Feed-in Tariffs for solar PV, use this Solar Energy Calculator
This is the current Feed In Tariff rate up until April 1st 2014
The UK government has confirmed the rate of payment for large scale solar PV installations under the Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) until 2017. The ROC is the main support mechanism for large scale renewable electricity projects in the UK, with smaller scale generation being supported through the Feed-In Tariff scheme (FITs).
Renewables Obligation Certificates are green certificates issued by the Authority to operators of accredited renewable generating stations for the eligible renewable electricity they generate.
Rate Paid 2013/14 - Building Mounted 1.7ROC/kWh - Ground Mounted 1.6ROC/kWh.
The rates of both building-mounted & ground-mounted solar PV arrays will reduce every year until 2017, meaning investing early will produce the best return on investment. Please call Atlantic Renewables to discuss in more detail.
Contact Atlantic Renewables on 0161 207 4044 or use our online form to receive a free, no-obligation solar power quote.