If you are looking for new ways to maximise the potential of your property and have unused outdoor space, solar developments can be an investment that is both profitable and environmentally sustainable.
Landowners can expect to net an income of £750 to £1,200 per acre per year – roughly £200,000 of extra annual income – for medium-sized properties.
Revenue can also be gained by taking a percentage of profits generated from selling electricity to the grid. However, this comes with risks if landowners are reliant on fluctuations in energy prices.
Solar technology has made great strides in recent years. The efficiency of solar panels rose 29% between 2012 and 2020, according to EnergySage, doubling their capacity and significantly increasing lifespan. Returns on investment are likely to increase as technology advances and green energy gains value.
The environmental advantages should not be overlooked either. According to the UK Solar Trade Association, solar developments have been shown to have a positive impact on biodiversity for a range of plant and animal species. This supports landowners’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint but also aligns with our collective commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to net zero.
When planning the installation of solar developments, landowners must take into account certain considerations. For example, sites must be within good proximity of a grid connection point, so it is vital to ensure that a connection is available.
The orientation of the land is also important. Flat land that faces south and is classed as agricultural grade three or four is optimal. Possible flood risk and any historic sensitivities of the site should be taken into account to minimise any potential issues in the future.
With solar energy having the potential to increase financial gains, reduce environmental impact and improve property portfolios, installing solar farms is the smart choice for landowners looking to invest in the future.
Pieter D’haen is development manager at power firm SSE Distributed Energy