Farming in the UK is in decline with many famers struggling to make a viable living with low prices for crops and unpredictable weather meaning farms can be financially harmed by a few bad years. By diversifying the productivity of the farm farmers can regulate their annual income and secure their financial future.
There is increasing awareness that farmers have an important role to play as custodians of the British countryside and wildlife. Luminous Energy use innovative approaches to maintaining an agricultural element to all its solar farms where applicable. The key is to be able to achieve this financial security while not losing the productivity of the land. It is important to remember the land is not irreversibly developed when a solar farm is constructed – the panels are mounted on frames and these are removed at the end of its useful life.
Continued agriculture has been achieved on other solar farms in the UK primarily by grazing sheep, other concepts such as vegetable growing have also been put forward in planning applications. Following extensive research and partnerships with both Agricultural Colleges and Universities we believe it is possible to create standalone developments that will not only provide clean electricity but also assist in the education of aspiring farmers and horticulturists, provide research and discovery facilities and create havens for biodiversity.
For landowners there are several benefits to having a solar farm, these include:
Recently there have been moves towards organic farming in an attempt to sustain profits, and many farmers supplement their income by diversifying activities away from pure agriculture. Solar Farms present an opportunity for farmers to secure their revenue through a guaranteed income for the duration of the lease. This income is seen as favourable by lending institutes which enable landowners to invest in new equipment or diversification projects. About half of all farmers in the United Kingdom supplement their income through diversification.
Luminous Energy solar farms are designed to benefit the environment. The solar arrays are elevated, leaving more than 95% of the land to be used for nature and, where appropriate, co-production of food. So many species of animals, birds and insects are suffering due to changes in their habitats caused by intensive agricultural use, industrialisation, and climate change. Our approach is to make our solar farms a protected sanctuary for struggling species by delivering the environment they need to prosper in.
Luminous Energy understand that farms are working businesses and any development shouldn't have a negative impact on the day to day operations. One of our knowledgeable team work with landowners from the onset of the project to design a scheme that incorporates and adapts to the specific needs of the site. This includes designing around most profitable land or underground drainage, incorporating herding pens and fences and using setbacks for farm vehicle access.
We are open to discussing opportunities for joint ventures with landowners. In this scenario the landowner shares the development costs with us and receives an equal proportion of the profits assuming the project is successfully completed.