Strong returns mean an increasing number of farmers are investing in solar energy, with many poultry producers benefiting from installations.

In the last four months renewables company SERS said that it had installed 200kWp (kilowatts peak) of solar PV on four Herefordshire farms, beating the March Feed-in Tariff deadline so that the owners were able to receive the 34p rate.

A spokesman from SERS said: “More farmers are choosing to invest in green energy technology due to the potential return on investment available.

“The systems will provide a large reduction in fuel bills for farmers, which are often very steep. Automated egg packing machines, large fans and lighting use a large amount of electricity, hence why poultry farmers are able to benefit the most.”

Three of the farms had Jinko 230W panels installed, which are expected to provide a SAP (standard assessment procedure) annual yield of 42,143kWh each and earn each owner approximately £750,000 over the lifetime of the system.

“This is will provide an annual return on investment of 35.89%, with a payback period of just under 5 years,” the spokesman added.

Poultry farmer Allan Panniers said he is already seeing a 40% reduction in his fuel bills.

“A 40% reduction is a significant amount of money and I’m looking forward to seeing the profit of my farm increase thanks to solar power,” he added.