Farmers urged to make money while the sun shines

There won’t be a better time for farmers to make money by fitting solar panels according to leading renewables experts.

The recent Summer Budget suggested the Government will be reducing support for renewable energy in future and as rates paid to those who generate their own electricity were already set to fall, now is the time to act.

Farmers installing solar panels now will not only save money on energy bills but can still raise additional income from Government Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) which reward those who generate their own energy.

Rates are set to reduce every quarter before being abolished altogether so farmers are being urged to considering switching to solar to act now, and fix the income they can generate for the next twenty years while rates are still high.

Managing Director of Redsky and Fellow of the Institute of Roofing Paul Smith said: “At the moment farmers can get paid for every unit of electricity they generate and this can be a valuable income stream for farms as they come under increasing financial pressures. However the Feed-in Tariff rate has been steadily falling over the last few years and we don’t want farmers to miss out.

“Farms fitting solar panels now can lock in tariffs which are index-linked against inflation and fixed for the next twenty years, so now really is the time to convert to renewable energy.”

Redsky Solar installed a photovoltaic system on the roof of the goose barn at Tower View Farm in Ormskirk in July 2015. Farmer David Lea said: “I was keen to switch to renewable energy because of the enormous savings and the highly attractive return on investment, particularly because Redsky’s finance options meant I didn’t have to pay anything up front.

“In the first year alone, the system will save around £1300 on energy bills and generate over £2,200 in government Feed in Tariffs and Export Tariffs. This means that on top of generating all of the power we need at the farm we are able to benefit from exporting surplus power back to the national grid and make a profit.”

Farmers can choose from a range of finance options to purchase solar panels including several with no capital outlay.

Paul Smith added:“Redsky has finance options available where the system pays for itself through the savings on energy bills and no cash is required up front for the installation.

“We know that cost is a concern for farmers considering solar, but the benefits significantly outweigh the cost of installation over the life of the panels, and farmers can start making savings as soon as the panels are installed.”

Redsky Solar is a subsidiary of leading roofing contractor Longworth Group and is a member of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors.