01 February 2015 | Online since 2003



6 January 2014|News,Renewables

Agricultural land specialists negotiate UK’s largest Solar Farm


Work has started to build the UK’s largest Solar Farm, thanks to the collaboration between two agricultural land specialists, law firm Thrings and rural and development land agent WebbPaton.

The 230 acre solar farm, located in Didcot, will be the largest in the UK and will provide 41MW of power, which could supply 10,000 homes. It will be completed by April 2014.

Acting on behalf of the landowner, Thrings and WebbPaton negotiated the lease of the land to developers INRG Solar.


Leasing land for solar projects has become a popular investment for agricultural land owners, because of the level of return on offer. Thrings and WebbPaton have worked together on a number of large solar farm projects across Wiltshire and Oxfordshire over the last three years, including a 130 acre project in Castle Eaton and a 110 acre site in Calne.

Catherine Strickland, associate at Thrings, said: “Wiltshire and Oxfordshire are prime areas for solar projects due to sunlight in the south of the country and access to the National Grid to feed in the energy produced.


“The use of agricultural land for solar power is growing as traditionally they are built on brownfield sites. However, whether the site is brownfield or not, Thrings’s focus is to ensure landowners are protected and all the negotiated details are reflected in the agreed terms.

“The combination of our renewable and agricultural expertise gives us unrivalled insight into the priorities of landowners during these deals and for the future of their estate.”

It is their joint focus on the benefit of renewable energy combined with ensuring that conservation is at the top of the project agenda that sets the teams above the rest.

George Paton, partner at WebbPaton, commented: “Renewables are a wonderful diversification for landowners looking to increase the value of their asset and achieve a higher return per acre.

“It is a relatively new sector in rural property transactions however we have already completed deals covering over 2,000 acres, many of these with Thrings, and we expect to see interest to continue.

“We feel it is very important to consider the long term management and conservation of any site when negotiating the deals and so we ensure that the site is designed so it is not prominent on the landscape and that bonds are written into the contracts to ensure the site is returned to its original use at the end of the lease.”

The Didcot solar farm will continue to be managed as a natural pasture land grazed by sheep to encourage diversity of flora and fauna.

George continued: “We have worked with a number of solicitors on renewable projects but we recommend Thrings due to their sheer knowledge, conscientiousness, communication and overall expertise. Thanks to the number of projects we have worked on together we have developed a deep understanding of the things that are likely to happen in negotiations, things that funders require and obtaining the best outcome for the landowner. In our opinion, Catherine is one of the best solar lawyers in the country.”

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


21 January 2015
Bank Staff
We are also able to use the grounds of the County High School to go for walks and visit their onsite farm....

22 January 2015
Area Sales Engineer
Position: Area Sales Engineer Location: West Midlands Job Reference: LW/EMT/400/WM Type: Permanent Salary: £30,000 basic (OTE...

13 January 2015
Business Development / Sales Manager – Agriculture
Providing support to feed manufacturers and their Sales Representatives on farm. Business Development / Sales Manager – Agric...

12 January 2015
Wind Turbine Technician- Fenlands
EDF ER currently operates 525MW (26 wind farms), and has an additional 132MW of consented wind farm projects, including EDF E...

12 January 2015
Internal Sales Advisor
An interest in agriculture would be advantageous, although not essential. Master Role Title:....




Top stories you may have missed
12 November 2014 | Arable
GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops are good for the economy and can reduce the amount of pesticides u...


6 November 2014 | Cattle
Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK ...


6 November 2014 | Agri Safety
Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

A lack of engineers, not enough people promoting the land-based industries ...


4 November 2014 | Bees and Beekeeping
Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator ...


4 November 2014 | Arable
Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Agricultural specialists have welcomed a potential financial boost for youn...


3 November 2014 | News
Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bo...


31 October 2014 | Arable
New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New farm business income data from Defra, which focus on income from March ...


30 October 2014 | Agri Safety
Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture has remained one of the industries in which workers are most li...


29 October 2014 | Finance
UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

Prime arable land in the UK has seen a substantial year-on-year growth in p...


27 October 2014 | Arable
Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

A new mobile app for farmers able to pinpoint and identify disease, pests a...