Land in demand for solar farms

A dramatic fall in the price of solar technology has reignited demand from developers looking for sites to build solar farms, according to Fisher German.

Sites of 25-50 acres were being sought, with typical rents for a 25-year lease of around £1,000/acre per year, the firm’s Harry Edwards said.

“Solar PV parks were extremely lucrative around 12 months ago as the high Feed-in-Tariff payments provided healthy profits for parks with maximum outputs of 5MW. When the government reduced the FiT payments many projects were shelved.

“However, due to a combination of falling technology prices and Renewable Obligation Certificates payments, solar parks have become attractive again. ROC payments are available on much larger projects than FIT projects.”

He outlined a range of criteria that developers looked for when deciding if a site was suitable and urged anyone approached by developers to seek professional advice from the outset.

Site requirements:

  • Typically 25-50 acres, no upper size limit

  • Flat ground or gently sloping south

  • Not overlooked from public or neighbouring houses

  • Easy access for construction and maintenance

  • No obstacles which would cast shadow

  • Not liable to flooding

  •  Proximity to 33kV overhead power line, ideally within a few kilometres of a 33kV-11kV substation

  • Ideally sited in the south of the country, and on low grade land outside protected areas