COVERING GOOD FOOD GROWING LAND WITH SOLAR PANELS?

Solar farms are hideous.
I’d rather live next to a housing or industrial estate. At least they are providing jobs and/or housing. Put them on roofs for goodness sake.

Massively affect the public perception of farmers too- a farmer near put one in and ten years later half the village still won’t speak to them. It’s not a big community either. Is it really worth it?
i think it depends on location. id rather see theses than wind farms, which catch your eye. I think they look like a lake.

putting on roofs is all well and good if the grid can cope. most of the time it cant which is why SF’s tend to be clustered along grid lines.

I do believe that Peterborough council built solar farms on some of their small holdings , which I understood were grade 1. That is a crime I think
Say no more. Always looks amusing on the planning application when the applicant and deciding body are they same.

soil testing is compulsory now for each application to determine just how good it is.

one in planning near here thats been a grass farm for the last 100 years yet CPRE bang on about loss of food production etc. Sheep love solar farms, it gives them so much shelter, as do grey partridge
 
What grows under them ? Surely a certain square inch of land can only be hit by the ray of sunshine once, it's either hitting a solar panel or the earth ? Genuine question not being funny, never seen a solar farm in the flesh. We have a couple of roof systems, one making 12v the other into the grid, they both on roofs.
I agree with the OP they should be illegal on farmland. Windmills I like.
The space between the lines of panels is quite wide and grass grows fine. Not much in the winter but easier than trying to mow under them. Ungrazed the nettles and Brambles will take over.
 

Sonoftheheir

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
West Suffolk
I’m not far from this, I think the general objection here is that the panels will
Surround a few villages. The land is grade 3 Sandy land.

Our local council invested £14 million buying a ready made solar farm. The land was fairly rough I think, and certainly never worth millions! I heard it was the chairman of the councils mate who bought the land and put them up🤔
 
I’m not far from this, I think the general objection here is that the panels will
Surround a few villages. The land is grade 3 Sandy land.

Our local council invested £14 million buying a ready made solar farm. The land was fairly rough I think, and certainly never worth millions! I heard it was the chairman of the councils mate who bought the land and put them up🤔
how do you know it’s not worth millions?

how big is it? Do you know how much income it generates from electric sales? The figures can be eye watering if we have good spring and autumn radiation.

back on the 2013 era solar farms were flipped by the developer doubling their money to pension firms who love them, about as recession proof as one can buy.

its very fashionable to own renewables at the moment so big investment firms can bang on about being green.
 

vantage

Member
Location
Pembs
Tidal power makes all of the solar and wind power generating look like a bad joke. Massive, predictable and strangely not considered, probably not enough job creation.
 
Forgot another point, I think this farm is near Red Lodge, may be wrong if it is , it certainly is not grade 1 , more like grade 5
This is the map:

https://sunnica.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Sunnica-Scheme-Boundary.pdf

It's local to me and unsurprisingly no-one wants it. All our councillors and both local MPs (Lucy Fraser and Matt Hancock) have condemned it as 'horrendous' because we will be pretty much surrounded. One landowner has withdrawn his land but word is it may be compulsorily purchased.

No-one understands why they want/need to build it so close to the villages when they could have built along the new A14 for example, instead of planting all those trees which have since died.

What's really frustrating is that thousands of houses in total in Red Lodge, Soham, Fordham, and Kennett are bring built and not one has a single solar panel on the roof.

I'm hoping the pikeys from the site across the A11 from Red Lodge see it as their chance to become cable millionaires.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
i think it depends on location. id rather see theses than wind farms, which catch your eye. I think they look like a lake.

putting on roofs is all well and good if the grid can cope. most of the time it cant which is why SF’s tend to be clustered along grid lines.
Surely pv on industrial roof space is power where its needed, with peak production during peak requirement hours?
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
Obviously the picture of my £15,000 car is upsetting a few people, the electric Kia is worth 2x that.
I would have thought the idea of renewables is to have a mix, and include batteries in there too. Tidal only works twice a day, unless huge dams are used; wave and wind is only when its windy (but not too windy), solar only works when the sun is out, biomass/bioethanol is questionable.
Thanks to the planners my solar park cannot be grazed as there was a height restriction placed on them.
There are plenty of comments on here about farming being [email protected]@ked, so I have taken the opportunities that came my way, sorry about that. Only 35% of what you see is subsidised, the other 65% is completely unsubsidised.
In terms of disposal, then we will have to see what happens, but unless a panel gets broken I can't see the need to dispose of them for decades, unless the financials stack up to replace the whole lot which would include a disposal or recycling cost. I suppose sh!t can happen, but I'd rather have a go than sit on my backside, do nothing, and then moan about the farm not making enough money for decades.
I also have an array on a grainstore roof if that helps, and the farm connection will take no more.
 
Assuming you structure it correctly and split income between numerous entities a solar farm over 40 years will return over £200,000 per ACRE (yes per acre) before costs as a landlord.

The company operating it if you don’t do it in house will return far far more in the region of £600,000 per acre.

In reality with index linking and elec price increases those figures will rise.

People just doing a straight rental at £1000/ac I must admit isn’t a great deal.
 

Veryfruity

Member
France.

Opposition to our 20ha park came from the agricultural lobby. We had no neighbor or local opposition. All our farm was eligible for solar, but we only chose a block away from others. We explained and listened.

Though the land doesn’t look much it is mains irrigated and very well suited to vine and stone fruit production.
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5ED75CCA-A617-454E-8F69-E76DA4F51086.jpeg
C37D3837-4B61-495A-8077-446F76D08782.jpeg

In our case we argued that putting some of our land into solar panels would enable us to better live with the see saw of fruit production. ( peach production has halved since 2005)
We also argued that it needn’t be a choice between energy or agriculture, but we could do both.

We have two sorts of panels, under the lower panels we can’t do much more than sheep. So we have a shepherd who grazes spring and autumn.

The larger tracker panels are 18m spacing to prevent shading one another , here we have planted Mediterranean truffle oaks and from June will be running free range hens. They will be housed in 500s to keep the shed size small , we are planning to sell the eggs farm gate and will make it a selling point that they are in small flocks.

The trees will be pruned to 2m.

Personally I think an agricultural use should be stipulated, forcing the panel companies to design accordingly. There’s plenty of sheep and hens to go round.
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
Assuming you structure it correctly and split income between numerous entities a solar farm over 40 years will return over £200,000 per ACRE (yes per acre) before costs as a landlord.

The company operating it if you don’t do it in house will return far far more in the region of £600,000 per acre.

In reality with index linking and elec price increases those figures will rise.

People just doing a straight rental at £1000/ac I must admit isn’t a great deal.
A 25acre park would be 5MW (nowadays probably 6.25MW) which would produce less than 5,000 MWhr pa. at say £40MWhr that is £200,000 pa which per acre is £8000 pa. If you've borrowed £120,000 per acre to build it then it doesn't look that clever, after annual costs, which are significant.
We looked at building a 5MW park, but if interest rates went up to nearer 10% it didn't look very attractive, and if over 10% you would probably loose everything. (assuming you borrowed 100%).
Early parks like ours were for 25years, not the 40years that they are on about now, and we are already 5 years into that.
 

teslacoils

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Solar farms are hideous.
I’d rather live next to a housing or industrial estate. At least they are providing jobs and/or housing. Put them on roofs for goodness sake.

Massively affect the public perception of farmers too- a farmer near put one in and ten years later half the village still won’t speak to them. It’s not a big community either. Is it really worth it?
Yup. Because I do my job for the money, not the smiling faces of the public gourging themselves on my feed wheat. No community here. I'd not give a flat fart if noone here spoke to me again - as I'd be on the next plane to Bali.
 

Brisel

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
North Yorkshire
seems very wrong to me, read that plans to build a very large solar farm covering a couple of thousands of acres north suffolk ,cambridgeshire area, what do others think ? i can see the point of covering large roofs such as warehouses or any roofs, i think that all this large scale new house building thats going on or will be built in the future should have to have solar panels built from new as law, but not surely on good arable land that we are loosing to development and have not much at all ?
The taxpayer doesn't care about food production, as long as we can import it. They do care about Greta Thunberg's legacy and climate change. It's daft, but that's how it is at the moment.

How about pumping lots of cash into biofuels? :D
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I say crack on. Plenty of land used to grow non food crops anyway, surely going to be more sustainable than annual crops of maize that are used to provide gas.
Yes I should think so ,they just sit there quietly getting on with the job, Good point.

Also , despite whats said above , Panels can be cleared away relativly easily/practically and those fields reinstatedfor agricultural production , unlike when they have houses , industrial estates etc built on them .
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
France.

Opposition to our 20ha park came from the agricultural lobby. We had no neighbor or local opposition. All our farm was eligible for solar, but we only chose a block away from others. We explained and listened.

Though the land doesn’t look much it is mains irrigated and very well suited to vine and stone fruit production.
View attachment 948963View attachment 948963View attachment 948964
In our case we argued that putting some of our land into solar panels would enable us to better live with the see saw of fruit production. ( peach production has halved since 2005)
We also argued that it needn’t be a choice between energy or agriculture, but we could do both.

We have two sorts of panels, under the lower panels we can’t do much more than sheep. So we have a shepherd who grazes spring and autumn.

The larger tracker panels are 18m spacing to prevent shading one another , here we have planted Mediterranean truffle oaks and from June will be running free range hens. They will be housed in 500s to keep the shed size small , we are planning to sell the eggs farm gate and will make it a selling point that they are in small flocks.

The trees will be pruned to 2m.

Personally I think an agricultural use should be stipulated, forcing the panel companies to design accordingly. There’s plenty of sheep and hens to go round.
Are you not worried the hens will roost on the panels and then crap on the panels? Suppose that would be someone elses problem.
 

AGCO reports sales increase of 43.5% compared to 2020 figures

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Written by Agriland Team from Agriland

The tractor manufacturer AGCO, which consists of brands such as Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, reported its results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2021.

Net sales for the second quarter were approximately $2.9 billion, an increase of approximately 43.5% compared to the second quarter of 2020.

AEM

Reported net income was $3.73/share for the second quarter of 2021, and adjusted...
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