Wondering what to do with the farm when you retire?

If you’re thinking about retiring, but the kids aren’t ready to take over, Amberside Energy says you can ‘skip a generation’ and achieve long-term revenue with a solar farm.

solar farm

Many farmers will be familiar with the predicament – your family has been farming livestock and crops for generations and you’re thinking about handing over the reins to your children.

The trouble is, their kids aren’t interested in being farmers, having gone to London to work in IT and finance. But you don’t want to sell the farm in case the kids see sense one day.

Amberside Energy says one way to tackle the problem is solar energy.

As developers of solar farms, the firm says it helps landowners achieve long-term revenue.

For many farmers, this type of scheme, alongside their other farming activity, provides an injection of capital to balance the books by paying generous acreage fees.

So how does it work?

Solar farm investors rent the land on which their projects are sited, entering into an agreement that guarantees acreage payments that increase with inflation.

This obligates the investor to maintain the site and return the land to its original condition at the end of the project’s life – generally 40 or more years later.

The benefits are even bigger if you farm sheep, as they happily graze around solar panels keeping grass short. And during inclement weather, they can use them as a rain shelter.

Solar and nature can live together nicely, Amberside reckons.

“With the government now obligating developers to focus on a minimum 10% improvement in Biodiversity Net Gain, we see new hedgerows, wildflower meadows, restored water courses, and other initiatives improving the picture from a field of crops.”

Reaching net zero

Those opposing large-scale solar on farmland will say that panels should be on buildings, not farms.

However, if we are to reach the government net zero target of 70GW of solar by 2035 (a five-fold increase), the harsh reality is that rooftop solar won’t cut it, according to Amberside.

solar farm with grazing sheep

If you’re worried that all our countryside will therefore be covered by solar panels – relax, that’s just not going to happen, the company says.

Even once we have hit the net zero target, the amount of land occupied by solar will still be less than that used for golf courses.

The projects will predominantly be situated on less fertile farmland near points in the UK electrical grid that have capacity to connect a project – that isn’t everywhere, hence the concentration of solar farms in some areas.

“If you’re wondering about solar, our team offers free assessments for land suitability,” says Anthony Middleton, COO at Amberside Energy.

“If your land is in the right area for the grid, Amberside Energy will manage everything; from obtaining a grid connection to negotiating the planning process – even covering your reasonable legal expenses.”

Solar can be a winning combination for farmers, the environment and any sheep caught out in the rain, Amberside concludes. Get in touch with the company directly to find out more.

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