Why solar panel technologies are popular with farmers
“Why are solar panel technologies so popular with farmers?”
With the continued hikes in everyday energy prices in comparison to relatively pain free process of creating energy using solar panels, more and more farmers are installing PV solar panel technology to their out-buildings.The coalition Government has already invested £8million since the feed-in tariffs scheme was introduced last year.
Stuart Lovatt, the founder of Heat my Home, said at the time “ PV solar panels, together with the feed-in tariff scheme is a win-win” situation for homeowners. It’s not hard to see why farmers too are jumping on the PV solar panel bandwagon.
Farmers are usually in the best situation for investing in solar technology. They have a longer term vision and an already more ethical way of living which places an emphasis on healthy soil and mixing arable and livestock to encourage bio-diversity, and they rely on nature, which most people forget in our modern day to day lives.
Woodlands Farm at Kirton in Lincolnshire, farms arable, sheep, cattle and horticulture. “Recently, we had 500 PV solar panels installed on the roof of an agricultural out-building which makes it one of the largest solar panel systems in the United Kingdom” says Andrew the owner.
The farm will be paid under the feed-in tariffs for all the electricity which the photo-voltaic panels produce, with additional higher rates for the surplus energy sold to the grid which will produce up to 118,000kW of electricity a year, this is enough electricity for 48 domestic homes.
Solar panels on external buildings
The PV panels have been installed on the packing shed roof and will be used for the refrigeration units making the packing and storage facility totally self-sufficient in power.
“The farm also provides an educational role to encourage environmental respect in the farming industry. Deciding to have solar panels installed was only part of a commitment to reducing our overall carbon footprint, but additionally has also found it brings financial reward with the generous feed-in tariff rates” adds Andrew.
“I was keen to have them for philosophical reasons”.
“It is a very good fit with what we are doing ecologically on the farm. It is also a good financial investment too” he says.
“The solar installation should produce a financial return of about 12% per year. If you consider what you get if you leave the money in a standard bank account, the answer is a deciding factor of the utmost importance for us.”
“We hope that this ecological project and financial investment will help others to see the benefits of solar panels too” Andrew concludes. Financial investment will help others to see the benefits of solar panels too” Andrew concludes.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt October 5, 2011
Founder of Heat My Home.