Right now, the large-scale solar market for solar farms in the UK is gathering pace and landowners are frequently being approached by developers. It is great news for landowners who are looking to diversify, the solar market has found a new commercial model without subsidy and is rapidly being joined by battery storage and offshore wind.
There are highly lucrative long-term revenues for landowners for 30-40 year terms giving a valuable stable income stream to agricultural businesses. Deals are not quite the same as the old days under subsidy regimes, but they still represent a healthy sum if negotiated carefully.
It is quite easy to be seduced by the first offer you see and easy to forget that friendly developers are paid to be friendly, but remember, fundamentally developers are paid to ensure they obtain best deal they can get. If a developer says you need to sign now to get the grid capacity, don’t sign anything, talk to a professional first. They are right to flag an urgency around grid but don’t rush in, ask for help.
If you sign a letter of authority or heads of terms with no knowledge in the market, then developers may try and get you to sign up for things which mean you may lose rights over your land you didn’t expect. Getting a good commercial deal is one thing but there are lots of pitfalls that need to be avoided.
RenewEV currently act for a large number of landowners (typically over 1GW in aggregate) offering our practical and commercial experience to help negotiate better deals. Our agent fees and your solicitors professional fees are usually covered by developers and you are advised to seek independent tax advice prior to signing any agreements. We help landowners understand the process and feel more in control; provide background checks on developers; commercial negotiation to get you good terms for your option and lease and we have a network of experienced legal and financial advisors we have worked with to provide you with a solid team behind you. All this means landowners can focus on their core day to day business without the extra stress.