The Benefits of Solar PV for Agriculture

IMPORTANT: The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) will close in March 2019. To benefit from it we recommend getting your solar panel system soon. Get free quotes from accredited installers here.


The farming and agricultural community are one of the sectors standing to make a gain from the Feed-in Tariff.

The Feed-In Tariff will place farmers and landowners in a position to make a greater profit from solar technology. By installing solar PV systems on to flat surfaces such as barn rooftops or warehouses, UK farmers and landowners have the potential to earn approximately £16,000 a year, saving over £1,800 in electricity bills, with income and savings expected to be more than £465,000 over 25 years.

An average barn has space to install a 60kWp PV system and in many cases will not require planning permission. PV panels should ideally be installed on a south-facing roof. This is best for energy capture, but the panels can also be place in ground-mounted frames around field margins – as long as they are not shadowed by hedges or trees – or across whole fields.

A detailed energy audit of a farm will show the savings you can make by using home-generated power instead of bought-in supplies. It will also help you decide on the scale of the solar panel installation you need.

The average space required for a solar roof is between 100 - 200 m2.  A typical 60kWp system produces 51,000 units of electricity a year which is vital for the power demands of today's farming. Installation costs can range from £1,800 for a 1kWp system to £5,000 for a 4kWp system.

The amount gained from the Feed-In Tariff is dependent on the size of the solar system you install. To gain the maximum payment from the tariff (13.88p per unit) your system must be under 4 kW in output.

The best rates for installing solar power are only available in the next few years in the UK, making it a good time for farmers to introduce renewable energy to their businesses.

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