Soaring energy prices and the need to replace lost revenues as agricultural incomes come under pressure is driving fresh interest in renewable energy projects on farms and estates.
Strutt & Parker’s energy team has access to mapping software to help UK landowners identify if they have land suitable for a renewable energy project, such as a solar farm, battery storage or wind turbines.
It takes into account factors such as land grade – ideally land should be Grade 3 or below as any development on Grade 1 or 2 land is likely to meet resistance during the planning process – flood risk, ecological concerns and proximity to any listed buildings or scheduled monuments.
The tool produces a short one-page report offering landowners an insight into where opportunities might lie and points to where there might be specific barriers to a planning application.
This report also includes details of local grid capacity, where this is made available by the local Distribution Network Operator.
The main limitation for any renewables project will be grid capacity, which is becoming increasingly constrained.
However, now is a good time to investigate whether an energy project might be a possibility for your land-based business, with rents of £1,000/acre available for solar farms and battery storage projects generating around £2,000/MW.
With electricity costs spiralling and energy security becoming a bigger priority, it is anticipated that sites are going to be looked at more favourably within the planning system moving forward.
If you would like to know more about our mapping tool and the work of our energy team, please contact Tom Charles.