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Supporting the Future of Farming

Since the very beginning of the industry British solar has been irrevocably linked with British farming. Lightsource bp has always understood the importance of this relationship and as such it has always been a priority of ours to support the rural economy and partner with farming communities and entities across the UK in order to drive solar forward and meet the need for sustainable energy. We’re investing heavily in these relationships as we continue to develop responsible solar projects across the UK.

A recent example of the way in which we are working with farming communities is our sponsorship of the Future of Farming Zone at this year’s Royal Three Counties Show. We worked closely with the organisers to create a space where farmers could be inspired and empowered to drive their businesses forward. Since resuming our membership with the NFU earlier this year we’ve been working closely with them to drive forward best practise and so were proud to take part in a panel speaking discussion with Jonathan Scurlock of the NFU and other sponsors of the Future of Farming Zone covering solar’s role in farm diversification.

Alongside speaking slots, members of our team were in the future of farming zone speaking to hundreds of farmers about how solar could be the next step for their business. Solar is becoming an increasingly popular option for farmers and landowners across the UK – it’s weather-proof, comes with decades of guaranteed income and has the added benefit of having significant positive impacts for the land, the local community and the environment.

Leasing your land for solar doesn’t mean abandoning traditional farming practices, either. Solar farms are the perfect place to graze sheep, so you will find that by renting your land for solar you’re able to make the acres work twice as hard – income from the panels, and income from your flock. Solar panels provide shade and shelter for sheep, while the secure fencing offers protection from predation and harassment. The disruption to the land from the solar panels is minimal, and land is returned to its original state or better when the lifespan of the project is up. There is also research which infers that the quality of soil under solar panels improves during the duration of the project.

Throughout the weekend we were reminded of the importance of relationships with organisations such as the Three Counties Agricultural Society, the NFU and the CLA in supporting the UK farming community in their vital role as part of the future of UK solar.

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Becoming a solar landowner

Allocating a portion of your land to lease for a solar farm opens up a diversified and dependable income stream. Take a look to see if a solar lease with Lightsource bp could work for your business.

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