Are your solar plans viable? Get advice from the experts
Monday, 05 August 2013 10:27

SOUTH WEST farmers and land owners are potentially not being given the necessary information regarding larger solar installations and are from this month (August, 2013) onwards advised to seek advice from experts.

We have seen an increase in people who aren't aware of the procedures involved when installing large numbers of solar panels and are offering free advice on the process.

We have seen a rise in interest from farmers and land owners who would like to install larger solar arrays, which is great. However, we are concerned that some are not being given the complete picture.

For large scale arrays it is important to understand what the Distribution Network Operator (DNO), which is the owner of the grid infrastructure in the area, costs would be to ensure the viability of the project.

For example, if 4,000 panels were installed on a piece of land they would generate approximately 1MW of energy, enough to power 250 homes. However, if the local DNO doesn't have the capacity to cope with the energy produced, the necessary cost to upgrade the grid infrastructure could make a project completely unviable.

As soon as we are approached by a prospective client, we always ascertain exactly what they are looking to achieve and their requirements. We then contact the DNO on their behalf, at this preliminary stage, with the information they require.

The DNO makes an assessment based on the strength of the local grid supply, the proximity to and size of the nearest transformer and the electrical loads expected. It will either give permission to proceed or supply a quote outlining the costs involved to upgrade its system to manage the additional energy from the panels.

In some cases the costs of upgrading the DNO's system may outweigh the benefits of installing the panels.

Our team can give advice to anyone thinking about a larger solar project. They can help to re-work projects, which may have been deemed unviable and work with the DNO to create an alternative plan.

We have also teamed up with the Rural Services department at Old Mill accountants and financial planners in Yeovil to provide advice to farmers and land owners on larger solar projects and the financing involved.

Old Mill, which has offices across the South West, are accountants with a strength in providing support and financial advice for rural businesses and renewable energy ventures.

For further information and advice, please call us on 01823 481329.

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