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Small-scale solar the key to offsetting high energy costs

Small-scale solar the key to offsetting high energy costs

Fri 28 Oct 2022

Rural land & property
Agricultural business consultancy

With businesses currently facing the highest ever winter gas and electricity prices with many paying up to four times last year’s tariff, the development of small/medium scale renewables provides a key route to reducing overhead costs.

Currently solar PV is dominating while wind is likely to see a come-back if the ease of planning restrictions suggested in the mini-budget are realised, this is an area to keep a close eye on in the coming months.

Roof mounted solar offers a great opportunity for businesses to offset current high electricity prices with returns on investment better the more of the electricity that can be utilised on site, rather than exported. Roof-mounted solar does not require full planning permission and is covered by permitted development rights up to 1MW. Prior notification to the local authority is still required, which they must respond to within 56 days.

The desire currently is to jump quickly into a project to head off high winter electricity prices, however solar PV projects have a lifetime of 20 – 25 years therefore taking time to assess the long-term impact of the project on your business is vital. It must also be considered that with the high demand for panels currently, providers offering quick install may result in poor installation having long-term impacts as well as charging a significant premium for their equipment.

Most sites will also want to explore the opportunity of a grid connection to allow the export of any additional power, this comes with up to a three month period from application to receive an offer, with a further two months from accepting an offer to having the site ready for commissioning.

Small-scale renewables provide a vital opportunity for reducing costs, diversifying, and increasing the sustainability of a business in the long-term. It is key that time is taken to correctly consider a project for it’s long-term impact on the business for the 20 – 25 year lifetime of the project.

An Array of solar panels installed on a small farm An Array of solar panels installed on a small farm
Close up of solar panels on farmland Close up of solar panels on farmland

If you are interested in independent advice in relation to renewables project or a renewables strategy for your business, please contact our Energy Team, Henry Haworth on 07919 694234 or Tom Robinson on 07384 248719. 

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