Frequently asked questions

Landowner FAQs

As a landowner, how much could I earn?

We only approach landowners when we’re certain we can help them unlock the solar-value of their land with the introduction of new green infrastructure. We do our homework and know the ins and outs of the their land and the suitability of a proposed solar farm plot.

Every site is different, but our diligent approach helps us to get the very best deal for landowners. If you have 50 acres or more and wish to discuss your land’s solar potential, please get in touch and our development team can discuss the next steps with you.

As landowner, what risks do I face?

The financial risks are minimal for the landowner. Our relationship operates as a land rental agreement, bound by a contractual lease.

Your rental agreement is with the individual solar project company; with a predictable level of energy generation, the operational risks are low. A fund is set up in the final years of the lease to make sure money is available for the decommissioning and restoration of your land.

For how long will I be required to lease my land?

The basic lease we require is 40 years.

Is my land suitable for a PV installation?

We carry out an initial review of the land to establish if the land is suitable. We do this based on a number of factors such as flood risk, shading, visual impact and landscape.

If you think your land is suitable for PV installation, please get in touch with our land development team:

Is planning required and will I be responsible for this?

All ground-based solar installations require planning consent. We manage this process for you.

Is permission required to connect the installation to the National Grid?

The Network Operator will need to give you permission before starting the project. We will manage this process from start to finish.

What happens at the end of the lease?

After the lease finishes, your land will be returned to its current state.  A Schedule of Condition is taken at the start of the project to make sure the land is given back in the right condition. This is a requirement by the local county council to gain planning consent.

What should I do if I think my land is suitable for solar development?

If you own at least 50 acres, in the UK, that you believe is suitable for development and you are curious about the benefits of solar, please get in touch.

Community FAQS

Do JBM engage with the local community?

Of course. JBM work hard to engage with the community, from the presentation and discussion of project plans to ensuring opportunities to provide detailed feedback on proposals. JBM regularly partner with local wildlife groups and welcome school visits.

Is solar popular?

Definitely. According to Government surveys, solar is the most popular energy source. Data in 2021 showed that 90% of the public supported it. When asked about a solar farm being built in their local area, 81% of respondents in 2022 said they weren’t opposed. Only 3% significantly opposed, while 8% felt that a solar farm wouldn’t be feasible locally.

Does solar PV work well in the UK? Is it sunny enough?

Absolutely. Solar works well everywhere in the UK. Solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to operate and produce power all year round, accounting for about 4% of national consumption.  In the middle of a sunny day, they can produce over a quarter of the UK’s power.

Is solar expensive?

Not at all. Solar provides the cheapest electricity in history, far cheaper than gas or nuclear. The energy price crisis has made the case for solar even stronger. For residential and commercial-scale rooftop projects, the cost averages only £1,700 per kilowatt of capacity.

How does a solar PV installation work?

PV panels are installed in rows on the land.  Electrical converters take the DC power which is generated by the PV panels and convert this to AC power – the standard form of electricity for the National Grid.  The power is then stepped up to the required voltage and distributed to the grid.

A generation meter records the amount of electricity generated and supplied to the grid.  The owner of the facility is then paid for the power generated. In return for leasing land, the landowner shares in this revenue through an attractive rental income.  This amount is established at the outset of our agreement with a long-term lease and protected from inflation for 30-40 years.

How long do PV modules last?

The lifespan of PV panels is 40 years. For this reason, our standard lease term is 40 years.  We typically look for options to extend this for another five years (subject to a new planning application), although any extension is up to the landowner.

What is the construction time?

This depends on the size of the installation. A typical build time is around six months.

Are solar farms built with the landscape in mind?

Absolutely, we work closely with communities to ensure that our solar farms blend in and restore traditional meadows and hedgerows to the countryside. The maximum height of our solar panels are three metres, which is the equivalent of a well-maintained hedgerow.

Do solar panels create glint and glare?

Barely any. Glint and glare are not a problem. Solar panels are designed to absorb light. The more light a panel absorbs, the more power it will generate.

Will there be a benefit to the local community?

Working in partnership with local communities to unlock a project’s full potential is at the heart of what we do. We work with local people to shape the future of our projects and to ensure the benefits of solar energy developments are realised in a way that positively impacts local people.

This could include, accessible footpaths, new native planting, improved highway safety, outdoor play areas, picnic benches, community orchards,  rooftop solar for community buildings and funding for other local sustainable initiatives. We will listen to suggestions during public consultation to provide the best possible outcome.

Are solar farms good for nature?

Certainly.  Solar farms provide benefits such as improving local biodiversity by supporting new and existing plant and animal life.  We do our research on the site to understand the wildlife that is present and change our proposals to best support the environment.

JBM commit to a minimum of 50% biodiversity net gain on each site, but our our average biodiversity net gain across all of our sites sits at over 100% habitat (over 12 times the policy requirement) and 42% for hedgerows (over 4 times the policy requirement). This is due to the considerable amount of new habitats that are created as part of each development.

Does land used for solar farms reduce food security?

No. Solar farms provide valuable income for farmers, they can still be used for grazing, and can support UK farmers to continue food production on other parts of their land.  Some developers consider growing produce under or alongside solar panels.

How much space will solar farms take up?

Very little. Even under 2050 Net Zero targets, Solar farms would occupy 0.5% of the UK’s land – much less that what is currently used by golf courses.

Once built will the development be noisy?

The only items which generate noise are the inverters and batteries, which are typically in the centre of the site and away from houses. We also include a full noise assessment within our planning application.

Will there be much disturbance during construction?

We aim to access sites and manage all traffic in such a way that it will have a minimum impact on surrounding communities.

Will there be fencing around the site?

Yes, we will put up a deer fence around the site to keep it secure, which is a planning requirement. The fencing will include gates that will allow small mammals to pass through.

Why are most solar farms built on agricultural land?

As the cheapest form of energy, as well as being clean renewable energy, a fivefold increase in solar capacity is anticipated by 2050 in the Government’s Energy Security Strategy 2022.  This cannot be achieved through rooftop and brownfield solar installations alone, as they have considerable practical barriers of their own.  Many domestic and industrial buildings either do not have roofs made of suitable material to support a solar system, do not have the infrastructure to export electricity to the gird, or simply present as an unaffordable solution, with initial costs of installation too high for some. As a result, agricultural land typically of moderate or low quality is also used, without impacting on food security.

Additional Resources

British Energy Security Strategy

Please click here to download the British Energy Security Strategy PDF

Climate Change Act 2008

Please click here to download the Climate Change Act 2008 PDF

Solar Energy UK


To learn more, get in touch with a member of the JBM Solar team today: