Seminar on solar power for farms hailed a success

More than 25 farmers and people who work with agricultural firms turned out for a breakfast seminar to learn more about what solar power can do for them.

Discover Energy hosted a seminar for farmers to learn how solar power can benefit them

Discover Energy hosted a seminar for farmers to learn how solar power can benefit them

A series of speakers at the Wolds Village event near Bainton explained how solar power can reduce electricity bills and be a long term effective investment.

Martin Bleasby from Discover Energy told the audience that his firm was installing more than 1,500 panels every month – mainly to farmers in the East Riding.

Solar power still generates good returns

He said: “Despite the government tariff for electricity payments gradually declining, the costs of installation are also falling so there is still money to be made from the investment in solar power.

“The immediate effect is that some of our customers are seeing a drop of up to 40% in their electricity bills while exporting electricity to the National Grid at good rates.”

Mr Bleasby also explained that Discover Energy was in a unique position because the firm was negotiating for higher export rates for its client base.

He added: “No other firm is doing this. We are looking at increasing the payment from 4.77pence to 7pence which is a big leap in profits for those who have installed solar panels.”

Planning permission for solar panels

Delegates at the seminar were told that it can take up to three months to gain planning permission for a solar panel installation but by ‘locking into’ the current tariff rate they will be paid at the higher rate when the rates drop further in the New Year.

Mr Bleasby said: “If ever there was a best time to invest in solar panels then it is now – getting finance for the solar panels is relatively easy and they generate good returns for the business.”

In addition, he explained that Discover Energy do not ‘fit and forget’ since their panels are monitored constantly to ensure they work as effectively as possible and monitoring will highlight any potential problems.

More seminars to be held

Mark Dixon from Hull-based legal firm Rollits told the audience about the potential legal issues for gaining planning permission and what those looking to invest in solar panels should look out for.

Then Dave Lockwood from the Driffield accountancy firm Bradbury & Co explained the tax advantages of installing solar panels and why they make such an excellent investment for farmers.

Delegates were then taking on a tour of a large ground installation of 340 solar panels at Wolds Village where they could see first-hand how the panels are constructed and how they work.

Discover Energy says this event was the first of several seminars to be held across East Yorkshire in the coming months as more agricultural firms realise the potential of installing solar power to cut electricity bills and create a new revenue stream.

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