Are you Considering Diversifying your Rural Business?

Published: 26/04/2023 By A-J Monro

If you are considering renewable energy as an alternative source of income, Partner A-J Monro might have some useful tips.  

Solar Photovoltaic Panels (Solar Farm), a Battery Energy Storage Site (BESS), and Wind Turbines are the three main options currently available. Landowners can either undertake a self-invested scheme or enter into a partnership with a developer where the land is essentially let out for a given period.

Wind turbines are making a slight comeback. It is recognised that in a world where food security is so important, they utilise a fraction of the land area to produce the same amount of energy as a Solar Farm. Current policy allows for on-shore wind farms provided there is no neighbour objection - perhaps unlikely if you are looking at giant wind turbines, but there are possibilities for smaller systems.  

Solar Farms remain a popular development opportunity, however, grid connection issues remain a problem with much of the National Grid remaining constrained. Solar requires a minimum of 50 acres to be viable. For a 50MW site, this would need nearer to 150 acres.  

In terms of income, Battery Energy Storage Site (BESS) is calculated on the £/MW. A BESS looks much like a container storage site as the infrastructure is hidden within container structures. These are located on a hard-standing in a field, relatively quick to build and can be located within just a few acres. The limitation on the size of the development is governed by the amount of available capacity on the network and the ability to connect to that network. However, a 50MW BESS site would only occupy around 4 acres, thereby generally more acceptable to neighbours when compared to a 150-acre solar site generating a similar output.

In terms of a return on investment, income for a BESS, Solar or Wind Farm would be relatively instantaneous. Often sums are received as bonus payments for signing up to developers. In recent years, Symonds & Sampson have worked with many green energy developers, and we are therefore well-placed to share our experiences and advise clients and ensure that they enter into the most favourable agreement.  

A-J Monro is a Partner & Rural Surveyor in our Wimborne Office 01202 882103.
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