‘Energy Barns’ and Farm Power- The Opportunities for Land Owners


Rachel Hayes


In the run up to Smart Energy Market Place on 17th March, we welcome Rachel Hayes of Regen SW as a guest writer. From farm power to ‘energy barns’, Rachel writes on the opportunities for landowners to generate income from energy in a changing market. 


The past few years have seen an extraordinary boom in farmers and landowners generating their own energy through wind, solar, AD and other technologies. This boom has provided new, steady income and protected the rural economy against future energy price rises.


With the government’s recent measures to cut subsidies many people are wondering if renewable energy is still viable. In fact the market has reacted to subsidy changes by developing new approaches and business models that mean there are still opportunities.

PV tour


At the heart of these new approaches is a better understanding of the value of power and how to maximise it. Over the course of a day the price of power in the market varies dramatically, peaking at around 5-7 in the evening when demand is highest. The cost of distributing power through the grid is also much higher at peak times. Farmers, of course, have lots of experience of understanding how the value of commodities, and distribution, can change depending on the season and other factors.


An example of the opportunities that understanding the value of power can create is the development of energy storage. By storing power it can be released at peak times of day when its value is highest. This can be sold to large companies to avoid the high costs of peak power and to the National Grid to provide backup.


Many solar developers that farmers are used to working with are now looking at storage and locating this on agricultural holdings. One developer, for example, has branded their storage as an ‘Energy Barn’.


Farmers and landowners can find out more about storage and other opportunities to generate income from energy in the changing market at Smart Energy Marketplace at Sandy Park (the rugby stadium) in Exeter on 17th March – www.smartenergymarketplace.co.uk

All Fit for the Future members get a 20% discount. Contact us for the discount code, and look out for us on the day