Building up rooftop solar

A steel company in southern England has set up a scheme to encourage local farmers to install rooftop solar photovoltaics.

South East Steel is offering to subsidise the cost of building a new 40sq m barn, so that the farmer only has to pay for the planning permission and ground works. The roof space is then leased back to SES which will install a 50kWp solar PV system and retain income from electricity sales and the Feed-in Tariff. Alternatively, SES is giving landowners the option of paying for the “solar barn”, PV panels, and associated planning and building costs, but retaining FiT income.

SES estimates planning could cost £450-£3,600, while ground works for such a building will be around £3,500-£7,000, depending on the installation. It suggests a typical 50kWp solar array would cost £200,000 and return £16,000 per year in a region with solar irradiance levels of 900kWh/pa.

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