FAQs

Commercial

What does JBM offer?

JBM provides a complete turnkey service, operating as a single point of contact for the landowner through the entire grid/planning process and where relevant, during the construction phase. The company works with a select number of planning and environmental consultants, including specialists in archaeology, landscape and ecology. This ensures a responsible approach to the development, while also guaranteeing the installation remains sensitive to needs of the local community and environment.

As landowner, how much could I earn?

In the UK, following a number of years of subsidy support, the UK government has withdrawn any subsidies for large-scale ground-mounted solar farms.  JBM is now building a pipeline of large-scale solar projects in the UK without the support of subsidy.

With the exception of grid connection, the cost of installation remains broadly similar per megawatt for each site.  However, the level of production can differ considerably. The rent we can offer varies according to a number of key factors, including:

Your location – this determines the solar resource available,

The site’s aspect, shading and gradient – this has a bearing on energy production, and

Grid connection cost – this is a key variable in determining installation cost.

As every site is different, we create a bespoke deal for each landowner.  Should you wish to discuss your land, please call us, our development team is ready to discuss rental rates with you.

As landowner, what risks do I face? 

The financial risks are minimal for the landowner. Our relationship operates as a straight-forward land rental agreement, bound by a contractual lease. The solar plant is set up as a separate company with its own legal identity, thereby ensuring it remains separate and distinct from any potential financial liabilities of JBM. Your rental agreement is with the individual solar project company; with a predictable level of energy generation, the operational risks for this company is low. A fund is set aside in the final years of the lease to ensure money is available for the decommissioning and reinstatement of your land.

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

The basic lease we require is for 30 years.  In order to recoup the capital investment and to generate sufficient financial return, we require the full term for generation of electricity.  It is therefore important that as landowner, you are comfortable with the long-term nature of our agreement.

How do I know my land is suitable for a PV installation?

Once contacted by a landowner, JBM carries out an initial desktop feasibility assessment.  Before visiting the site, we can establish its suitability based on a number of different factors such as flood risk, shading, visual impact and topography.  Once we establish basic suitability, we visit the site to consider it in more detail.  With the landowner’s authority, we also begin the process of establishing whether it is possible to connect the site to the grid.  JBM carries out all this work at its own risk, with zero cost to the landowner.

Is planning required and will I be responsible for this?

Any ground-mounted solar installation will require planning consent.  JBM manages this process, including preparation of the planning documents, liaising with the local planning authority and any interaction with the local community.  JBM will also be on hand for any public consultation process.

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

Yes.  An application must be made to the Network Operator for approval prior to carrying out the installation – JBM manages this from start to finish.   We typically run this process in parallel with preparation of the planning application.

What happens at the end of the lease?

In short, we commit to returning your land to its current state.  A Schedule of Condition is taken at the start of the project to ensure the land is handed back in the correct condition. We remove all traces of the solar plant and the land can revert to its former use.  This is not just a contractual agreement between you and us – it is typically a prerequisite for the local county council to grant planning consent.

Technical

How does a solar PV installation work?

The PV panels are installed in south facing rows on your land.  Inverters take the DC power 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 a regular and attractive rental income.  This amount is established at the outset of our agreement via 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 30 years.  We typically seek an option to extend this for another five years (subject to a new planning application), although this extension is at the landowner’s discretion.

What is the construction time?

This depends on the size of the installation. For large, multi-megawatt installations, a typical build process takes at least three months up to six months.

Is there enough sunlight in the UK for PV solar installation?

The short answer is yes. PV solar generation relies on diffused light (not just direct sunlight) in order to generate electricity. This ensures power is generated even on a cloudy day in winter, albeit at a lower rate than bright summer’s day.

Community

Will there be a benefit to the local community?

Each JBM solar farm is designed not only to limit potential impacts to the local environment, but to enhance local amenity and provide a tangible benefit for the local community. Our Design team will work with the Project Managers to maximise the benefits of the land to members of the public. For example, this could be more accessible footpaths, new native planting, improved highway safety and many more. We take pride in providing enhanced environments for local residents and will listen to suggestions during the public consultation. In addition, we offer each community a chance to have solar pv on a local community building to feel for themselves the direct benefits of renewable energy.

What about the wildlife which use the area?

We have undertaken surveys of the site to understand the wildlife which is present, and the proposals incorporate appropriate planting and seed mixes designed to support wildlife.

Will the development cause flooding elsewhere?

The proposals have been designed to ensure that there is no increase in flood risk. Any Runoff will be conveyed via swales and stored within an attenuation basin to achieve betterment. A detailed site specific flood risk assessment and drainage strategy will be submitted as part of the planning application to the LPA. Our schemes will always result in betterment on site in terms of flood risk, i.e. decreasing runoff on site.

Once built will the development be noisy?

We understand that there are concerns over any noise generated by the proposals. The only items which generate any noise are the inverters and batteries. In order to make sure that these are not audible at the site boundary these items have been positioned a sufficient distance away from the site perimeter. A full noise assessment will be included within a planning application submitted to the local planning authority.

What will happen to the Public Rights of Way?

The Public Rights of Way which pass through the site will be retained in their current route and access will always remain available.

Will there be much disturbance during construction?

We aim to access the site and organize all traffic in such a way that it will have a minimum impact on the village. For example, acces the site via a gap in the existing hedgerow and use the roads, which will not pass through the village if there are such conditions in place. Once the solar farm is operational there will be very little traffic. Maintenance visits will be limited to around 20 a year and will be undertaken by transit van size vehicles.

Will there be traffic disruption to local residents?

During the operation of the solar farm, there will be a negligible increase in road traffic as solar farms are very easy to maintain with a small number of staff. Indeed during the construction and decommissioning phases there will be an increase in large vehicles in the immediate vicinity. On average we anticipate over a six month period an increase of 5-10 HGV’s per day. JBM use specialist highway consultants to ensure these impacts are limited.

Will I be able to see it once it’s built?

Views of the development will be possible from some of the surrounding footpaths and roads. A comprehensive landscaping scheme is proposed so as to provide screening where necessary.

Will there be fencing around the site?

Yes, we propose that a stock fence will be put up around the site in order to keep it secure. The fencing will include gates that will allow small mammals to pass through.

Will any trees or hedgerows be removed? 

No trees will be removed. Small sections of hedgerow will require removal for access between fields but additional trees and hedgerows will be planted in order to create further screening and biodiversity enhancements resulting in a net biodiversity gain on site.

Why are most solar farms built on agricultural land?

The UK has an ambitious target to provide all of our electricity from low carbon sources by the year 2050. In order to achieve this goal, a large number of solar panels will be needed. The availability of roof spaces and brownfield sites is very limited, and therefore the use of sensitively located solar farms on agricultural land is imperative to provide a well- balanced and sustainable energy supply to the UK market. Solar farms have demonstrated over the last decade that they are a catalyst for significant improvement in biodiversity, natural habitat and soil recovery, and should be seen as an excellent opportunity to increase the quality of the UK’s farmland.