Positive Energy Solutions
UK Solar Farms
In recent years, solar energy technology has made remarkable strides, offering an exceptional combination of environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
Positive Energy Solutions
UK Solar Farms
The advancements in solar energy have reached unprecedented levels, making it an increasingly attractive and viable option for harnessing clean and renewable energy sources.
Solar farms - What you need to know

As the UK sets its sights on generating half of its power from renewable sources by 2030, the demand for large-scale solar farms has soared as a prominent form of clean energy. Companies, farmers, and independent landowners are recognizing the potential of utilizing their land to contribute to the production of green energy. This growing trend reflects a collective commitment to harnessing renewable resources and promoting a sustainable future.

Setting up a solar farm

When embarking on a solar energy project, securing suitable land is the first crucial step. It’s important to note that solar panel farms require a significant amount of land compared to other forms of power generation. For instance, a 1MW farm typically requires 5 to 8 acres. It’s essential to consider not only the space required for the panels but also for essential equipment such as inverters, storage batteries, and maintenance access between rows of panels.

In addition to space considerations, your chosen land must have a connection to the grid to facilitate the distribution of the generated electricity. If there is no existing connection, you will need to budget for the cost of establishing one.

Solar projects are typically developed in rural areas, with prime locations being either flat or on south-facing slopes. If you intend to convert agricultural farmland, keep in mind that stringent planning procedures are in place to protect food production. It is rare to obtain approval for highly fertile fields to be transformed into solar farms. Your best option would be to seek land that has low agricultural yield or is primarily used for grazing.

However, obtaining planning permission is only one aspect of the overall process. Developing a solar farm involves going through a rigorous set of planning procedures, which includes evaluating the suitability of the proposed site, assessing any necessary modifications to make it viable, and carefully considering the potential environmental impact, whether positive or negative, on the local surroundings.

While the construction phase itself can be completed within a few months, securing planning and approvals is the most time-consuming part of the process. The entire development timeline, from inception to operation, can span anywhere from one to three years due to the intricacies of the planning process. It is crucial to factor in this timeframe when undertaking a solar energy project.

UK Solar Farms

When identifying an ideal site for a solar farm, several key factors come into play:

  • Irradiance: The amount of sunlight a location receives is a crucial factor. Sites with higher irradiance levels are favourable for solar farms as they maximize energy generation.
  • Topography: The elevation and slope of the land affect the amount and timing of sunlight that solar systems receive. Optimal sites have favourable topography that allows for efficient light capture.
  • Proximity to Dwellings: For utility-scale solar farms, which cover vast areas, the proximity to residential areas is important to consider. Glint and glare from solar panels can impact nearby residents, so suitable distancing is necessary.
  • Capacity: The site should have the capacity to accommodate a significant number of photovoltaic panels, enabling the maximization of energy production. Large-scale solar power plants can consist of thousands of panels with high production capacity.
  • Grid Connection: Solar farms require connection to the electricity grid to export the generated power. This is particularly crucial for renewable energy sources like solar and wind, as their generation fluctuates, and complete energy storage is not always feasible.
  • Land Classification and Type: It is preferable for solar projects to avoid occupying land suitable for housing or farming. Planning applications for solar photovoltaic cells on brownfield sites, contaminated land, industrial areas, or lower-quality agricultural land have higher chances of approval.

Once an ideal site is identified, prospective solar farm developers must consider additional factors:

  • Access: Easy access to the site for construction and maintenance activities is vital.
  • Site Layout: Planning an efficient and well-organized layout that maximizes solar exposure and optimizes the arrangement of panels is essential.
  • Design and Appearance: The visual impact of the solar farm should be considered, ensuring it blends harmoniously with the surroundings.
  • Security: Due to the valuable equipment present in solar facilities, implementing security measures such as fencing, CCTV systems, and adequate lighting is necessary to protect the infrastructure.

By carefully evaluating these factors and addressing site-specific considerations, developers can establish successful and well-designed solar farms.

Get started, planning your solar energy farm project with Positive Energy Solutions

Building a solar energy farm is a big project that requires teams of specialists to handle the many aspects of the project, from planning to implementation Experience our commitment to excellence and let us help you embark on a greener and more sustainable future.

Our Process In A Few Steps

Site Survey

The process begins with a comprehensive site survey conducted by our experienced team.

Detailed Report

One of our experienced energy consultants will arrange a site visit to asses and confirm the survey.

Install Contract

If our client is happy to proceed with the proposed project, an install date is agreed and the contract signed.

UK Solar Farms Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years, solar farming has been associated with significant start-up costs. However, there has been a remarkable decrease in costs over the past decade, making solar parks more affordable than ever before. In fact, the cost of setting up a solar park today can be more than 80% lower than it was in 2010.

The decreasing costs can be attributed to the growing popularity of solar energy, which has driven manufacturers to develop more cost-effective components. In 2019, the average price of solar panel modules was around £200,000 per megawatt or 20p per watt produced. Furthermore, economies of scale play a role, as larger capacity solar plants tend to have lower costs per watt compared to smaller installations.

However, it's important to note that the cost of solar panels is just one aspect of the overall development cost. Land and labor expenses remain significant factors. The average value of an acre of UK farmland in 2022 ranges between £7,500 and £10,000, with certain locations and accessibility influencing higher prices.

If you already own the land you plan to convert into a solar farm, you can eliminate the expense of land acquisition.

While start-up costs for solar projects are still relatively high, the ongoing costs are considerably lower. Solar plants have minimal operational and maintenance requirements, and there are no waste by-products to manage. Once you have made the initial investment, you can expect minimal operating costs to keep your solar farm running smoothly.

As the cost of solar energy continues to decline and the technology advances, investing in a solar farm offers an increasingly viable and sustainable option for businesses and landowners alike.
To accommodate a 5MW solar farm, it is typically necessary to allocate approximately 25 acres of land (equivalent to 10 hectares). As a general guideline, a rough estimate suggests that around 5 acres of land are required per MW of installed solar panels. This guideline provides a rule of thumb for determining the land area necessary to support a specific capacity of solar power generation.

Be aware that with large solar projects, you don’t just need space for the solar arrays. Land is also required to house equipment like inverters, also space needs to be left between rows of solar panels for repair and maintenance access.
The construction timeline of a solar farm can vary depending on the project size and the workforce involved. In many cases, the construction phase can be completed within a few months, considering factors such as the scale of the solar installation.

On the other hand, the siting and permitting process is a more complex undertaking. It typically requires obtaining various approvals and finalizing contracts, which can significantly extend the timeline. It is not uncommon for this phase to take between 3 to 5 years to ensure all the necessary regulatory requirements and agreements are met before proceeding with the solar farm development.

Once the solar farm is fully constructed and operational, its maintenance requirements are relatively minimal. Regular servicing, which typically occurs approximately 3 to 4 times per year, ensures that the system continues to perform optimally and any necessary adjustments or repairs are carried out promptly. This approach helps to uphold the efficient functioning of the solar farm throughout its operational lifespan.
The potential income generated by a solar farm can vary based on several factors, including the size of the installation, location, available sunlight, electricity prices, government incentives, and the specific terms of power purchase agreements (PPAs) or feed-in tariffs (FITs).

The primary source of revenue for a solar farm comes from selling the electricity generated to the grid or through long-term contracts with energy buyers. The income is typically derived from two main streams:

Electricity Sales: The solar farm generates electricity, which can be sold to the local utility or power market. The revenue is determined by the electricity production, the prevailing market prices, and any applicable feed-in tariffs or subsidies.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs): In some regions, solar farms can generate Renewable Energy Certificates or similar environmental attributes for each unit of renewable electricity generated. These certificates can be sold to entities looking to meet their renewable energy targets or compliance obligations, providing an additional revenue stream.

To estimate the potential income, it is crucial to consider the specific factors mentioned earlier and conduct a financial analysis based on the project's unique characteristics. Factors such as system capacity, available sunlight, local electricity prices, and the duration and terms of electricity sales contracts will play a significant role in determining the financial returns of a solar farm.

It's important to consult with industry experts, solar developers, or financial advisors who can conduct a detailed feasibility study and provide accurate projections based on the specific circumstances and market conditions relevant to your solar farm project.
The future of solar farms looks promising as renewable energy continues to gain traction and governments, businesses, and individuals increasingly prioritise clean energy sources. Here are some key aspects that highlight the potential of solar farms in the future:

Cost Reduction: The cost of solar panels and related equipment has been declining consistently over the years, making solar energy more affordable and competitive with traditional energy sources. Continued advancements in technology and economies of scale are expected to drive further cost reductions, making solar farms even more financially viable.

Increased Efficiency: Research and development efforts are focused on improving the efficiency of solar panels, allowing them to generate more electricity from the same amount of sunlight. Advancements in materials, such as perovskite solar cells, and the integration of technologies like bifacial panels and solar tracking systems, have the potential to significantly enhance solar farm efficiency.

Energy Storage Integration: The integration of energy storage solutions, such as batteries, with solar farms is gaining momentum. Energy storage enables solar farms to store excess electricity generated during the day for use during periods of low sunlight or high energy demand. This helps overcome the intermittent nature of solar energy and provides more flexibility in energy supply, enhancing the reliability and value of solar farms.

Smart Grid Integration: Solar farms can play a crucial role in the development of smart grids, where advanced monitoring and control systems optimise energy generation, distribution, and consumption. Integration with smart grid infrastructure allows solar farms to respond to grid conditions, improve grid stability, and enable more efficient utilization of renewable energy resources.

Technological Innovations: Ongoing research and development efforts are exploring innovative technologies, such as floating solar farms, solar farms integrated with agriculture (agrovoltaics), and solar farms combined with other renewable energy sources like wind or hydropower. These advancements aim to maximise land use, diversify energy generation, and further enhance the efficiency and sustainability of solar farms.

Supportive Policies and Investments: Governments worldwide are implementing supportive policies and incentives to promote renewable energy adoption. This includes feed-in tariffs, tax credits, grants, and renewable portfolio standards that encourage the development of solar farms. Additionally, private investments in renewable energy projects, including solar farms, are increasing, driven by both financial returns and environmental sustainability goals.

Overall, the future of solar farms is expected to be characterised by continuous technological advancements, cost reductions, improved efficiency, energy storage integration, and supportive policies. These factors contribute to the growth and widespread adoption of solar farms, playing a vital role in the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.
Solar Farms typically have comprehensive monitoring systems in place to ensure efficient operation, performance optimisation, and proactive maintenance. These monitoring systems enable solar farm owners and operators to track and analyse various parameters related to the performance and health of the solar farm. Here are some key aspects of comprehensive monitoring systems for solar farms:

Performance Monitoring: Solar farm monitoring systems continuously track the electricity generation of individual solar panels or groups of panels. They monitor parameters such as voltage, current, power output, and energy production in real-time. This allows operators to identify any underperforming panels or issues that may affect overall system efficiency.

Environmental Monitoring: Solar farm monitoring systems also monitor environmental conditions that can impact the performance of solar panels. This includes monitoring solar irradiance (sunlight intensity), ambient temperature, module temperature, wind speed, and humidity. By collecting and analysing this data, operators can assess the impact of environmental factors on energy production and optimize system performance accordingly.

Fault Detection and Alerts: Monitoring systems provide early detection of system faults or malfunctions. They can identify issues such as panel failures, wiring problems, inverter faults, or communication errors. When a fault is detected, the system generates alerts or notifications, enabling prompt troubleshooting and maintenance to minimise downtime and maximise energy production.

Remote Monitoring and Control: Solar farm monitoring systems are often accessible remotely, allowing operators to monitor the system's performance and make adjustments from a centralised location. Remote access provides real-time visibility into system operation, enabling operators to monitor energy generation, track historical data, and remotely control system settings or configurations.

Data Analysis and Reporting: Monitoring systems collect and store vast amounts of data, which can be analysed to gain insights into system performance, energy production patterns, and potential improvements. Analytical tools and reporting capabilities allow operators to assess the efficiency of the solar farm, identify trends, and make informed decisions regarding maintenance, optimisation, and future expansions.

Maintenance and Asset Management: Monitoring systems support proactive maintenance and asset management by tracking key performance indicators and providing maintenance schedules based on real-time data. This helps optimise maintenance efforts, identify potential issues before they escalate, and ensure the long-term reliability and performance of the solar farm.

Comprehensive monitoring systems for solar farms provide valuable data, insights, and control over the performance and operation of the solar farm. They enable operators to maximise energy production, identify and resolve issues promptly, optimise maintenance activities, and ensure the overall efficiency and profitability of the solar farm.
Why Us!

At Positive Energy Solutions, we are committed to delivering successful and well-designed solar farms by considering site-specific factors and tailoring solutions to meet your unique requirements. With a personalised approach to each project, our team combines professionalism, expertise, and meticulous attention to detail.

We understand that every business is distinct, and we take pride in developing custom energy solutions that align seamlessly with your objectives and maximise your sustainability efforts. From the initial assessment to the final implementation, our dedicated team ensures that your solar farm is designed and executed to the highest standards.

With Positive Energy Solutions, you can expect a collaborative partnership focused on delivering optimal results. We prioritise effective communication, transparency, and a thorough understanding of your needs throughout the entire process. Our goal is to provide you with a tailored solution that not only meets your energy requirements but also aligns with your long-term sustainability goals.

By choosing Positive Energy Solutions, you can trust that our team will go above and beyond to create a solar farm solution that optimises energy generation, minimizes environmental impact, and maximizes your return on investment. Experience our commitment to excellence and let us help you embark on a greener and more sustainable future.

SOLAR FARMS

Start planning your solar farm project with Positive Energy Solutions

Building a solar energy farm is a big project that requires teams of specialists to handle the many aspects of the project, from planning to implementation Experience our commitment to excellence and let us help you embark on a greener and more sustainable future.