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Solar Panels For Agricultural Buildings

Mypower has a proven track record of providing energy solutions in the agricultural sector which deliver real benefits and savings.

Solar power

Rising costs of electricity are adding to the escalating overheads faced by UK farmers which affect profitability. Farm buildings can provide large, uncomplicated roof spaces which are ideal for installing solar PV, helping farmers to reduce their energy bills significantly. Mypower specialise in installing high quality, high yielding solar panels for agricultural buildings.

High energy users

Refrigeration warehouses, grain stores, dairy units and chicken housing all require a great deal of energy to operate. They also provide excellent opportunities for agricultural solar panels to help reduce electricity costs. Matching the daytime generation from the panels to the electricity demand within the building is the most efficient way to use solar energy, as it means businesses need to import less energy from the grid (which costs up to three times as much as solar).

At current installation costs, solar PV is seeing an ROI of 15% and over - considerably more than any UK bank is offering! Average payback length is 5-6 years and your solar investment can be cashflow positive in as little as two years. With low interest rates, solar is therefore viewed as a low risk investment, particularly for long-term businesses such as those in the agricultural sector.

No Feed-in Tariff, no problem

Although the FiT subsidy closed at the end of March 2019, the significant reduction in panel costs, coupled with the increase in individual panel output and consistently rising grid supplied electricity prices, means that now is a better time than ever to invest in solar PV.

Daylesford Organic FarmFor example, Mypower installed 108kW solar PV system for Daylesford Organic Farm in Gloucestershire which will provide a return on investment of 17.5% and produce subsidy-free electricity at around 4.85p per unit, including projected operating and maintenance costs. Compare this to a typical grid supplied rate of 15p per unit which is likely to continue rising for the foreseeable future...  

The future of solar panels for agricultural buildings

Benefits include:

  • Reduced costs from energy suppliers
  • Panels remain profitable
  • Added value to your business/farm
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Can be bought at a fixed cost of 5p per unit including projected operating & maintenance costs

Electric Vehicles improve the benefits further

The rapid uptake of electric vehicles will increase the onsite consumption of solar generated electricity, improving the 2021 metrics even further. This is before you even start to look at the savings you'll make by moving from petrol and diesel to electric!

Solar is an excellent low risk technology 

  • It is a well-established, tried and tested technology in the UK
  • Average yields are very predictable
  • Panels and inverters have long, robust warranties
  • Maintenance is minimal - there are no moving parts

Tax benefits with solar

Solar panels are classed as plant and machinery which means they are eligible for capital allowances. So, the capital cost can be written off against profits in the first year.

If we take a farming partnership paying 40% tax as an example, it's possible to claim back from HMRC 40% of the cost of the solar installation in the next tax return. This means a £35,000 investment effectively costs the business just £21,000, making the first year return on investment significantly higher at around 23%, and the cost of producing each unit of electricity considerably lower at around 3-4p per unit.

Solar energy - clean, green and 1/3 of the price of grid supplied.

Solar Panels For Agricultural Buildings

Impact of fitting solar in 2021

In 2012, farmer Andrew Bullock had 198 solar panels installed on his farm and was pleased with the results: “We are both saving and making money. Anyone who has significant daytime energy use will make solar pay”, he commented.

The table below compares Andrew’s 2012 solar installation with how the figures would look for a roof mounted 50kWp installation in 2021.

Despite the subsidy no longer being available, the reduction in panel costs and the continued rise in grid supplied electricity means that the 2021 system provides a better return than under the high subsidy rate provided in 2012. This is also based on using just 60% of the solar electricity onsite.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put solar panels on agricultural land?

Agricultural land and farm buildings provide an ideal locations for large-scale installations of agricultural solar pv systems. They are a cheap, low maintenance and nature friendly way of generating electricity for farm buildings compared to grid electricity providers.

Agricultural solar panels cost

The average agricultural solar panel cost per acre of land is in the region of 5p per Kwh. There are different factors which influence the cost of solar panels for an agricultural business on a cost-by-cost basis such as the number of acres covered, the amount of energy they consume and additional tax benefits such as capital allowances.

Are solar panel farms profitable?

The economic growth of renewable energy combined with solar power becoming the cheapest form of electricity means it is now a great time for your agricultural business to invest in solar power.

Agriculture Case Studies

Take a look at what we have been up to recently

Have we captured your interest?

Mypower is highly experienced in supplying solar panels for agricultural buildings.

If you would like more information, along with the facts and the figures on how you can benefit from solar, please

get in touch on 01242 620894 or visit our contact page.

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