Considering Hosting Renewable Energy Equipment on Your Land?
- AuthorGeorgina Walters
Farmers and landowners have always had to consider multiple income streams, and it is increasingly common for them to be approached by energy firms wanting to use a section of their land for renewables set-ups, including anaerobic digestion equipment. The ongoing growth of the renewables industries has created many new revenue opportunities, and with farm incomes under pressure, farmers are being prompted to think creatively.
Farmers are also dealing with the Government’s Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) designations and action programme, with regulations requiring farmers to have sufficient storage for five or six months of slurry. This requirement for increased storage capacity means some farmers are increasingly looking to anaerobic digestion as an option for manure management. So, some groups of farmers are choosing to collaborate and invest in income-generating anaerobic digestion schemes.
Many farmers do benefit from hosting turbines, solar, anaerobic digestion and hydro equipment. However, I cannot overstate the importance of getting the legalities sorted out before you grant anyone rights to use your land – even temporarily. Don’t be hasty to sign up in order to qualify for a better deal – this can come back to haunt you when problems begin to arise.
Some landowners are being approached to enter into agreements – called Option Contracts - with energy storage developers, which bind them in to giving a lease, or to sell land at a later date if the developer gets the relevant regulatory approval.
I strongly advise landowners who have already been approached to seek specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity and always before they sign any agreement or Heads of Terms. This will help ensure they are paid appropriately and ensure they aren’t leaving themselves open to any potential environmental liability in the future and also are not restricting the use of their land in the future.
It is wise for landowners who have land close to a sub-station site to be aware that they are likely to be approached too.
For further information contact Georgina on 01348 871018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of our local offices below…
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