Surge In Interest In Ground-Mounted Photovoltaic Systems

14th May 2013

As gaining planning permission for wind turbine developments becomes more difficult, and space in our sunniest counties becomes tight, both landowners and developers are looking with more interest at Yorkshire and Lincolnshire for ground mounted photovoltaic (PV) installations.

At George F White, this has created a surge in interest in finding out more about ground mounted PV from both existing clients and others.

Although returns on PV systems are not as exceptional as they once were, a return of 11-12% is achievable and planning consent is relatively easy to attain. Straightforward leaseholds are available on a £ per acre basis but it is also possible to look at a ‘stepped’ rental whereby an increase in profits is seen, as the initial investment cost is paid off.

Similarly, joint enterprises are popular, sharing the financial investment, and self-developing is also an option. Many farms now have up to 50kW roof-mounted and occasional ground-mounted PV arrays in place, giving them a reliable source of electricity during daylight hours for 30 years and a good ‘Feed In Tariff’ (FIT) income, after payback in Yr 7-10. FIT runs for 20 years.

What to look for on site:

  • South facing or flat field/s (4-6 acres per MW depending on topography)

  • Ground that is not too rocky so that pilings can be driven in rather than drilled

  • 3 phase grid connection not too far from connection point (cable costs/losses)

  • Security if on the urban fringe or away from farm – e.g. fencing or CCTV

  • As on-site usage gives better returns, if you raise broiler poultry or have a dairy, workshops etc., the benefits are greater.

If you would like to find out more about this please contact Victoria Lancaster on 01665 511988.

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