Farms in the Fellfoot Forward LPS can get free support to explore whether solar energy could help to cut your costs and carbon footprint.

Up to eight farms will have a free assessment carried out by an independent renewable energy consultant, looking in detail at how solar energy could potentially benefit the farm.

Farmers will receive a detailed report, covering everything from the number of solar panels you could have on your roofs through to likely costs and savings. Participating farms will also get support to find out more about funding for solar installations and to find specialists and suppliers.

With energy prices rising and the cost of renewable energy technologies falling, generating renewable energy on the farm is an attractive option – even without subsidies. As well as helping to reduce costs and keep your farm viable, it can make a big contribution to overall efforts to cut your farm’s carbon footprint.

Installing renewable energy solutions can be challenging, time consuming and complex. Perhaps you’re not sure which technology is best for you, or you don’t know which installers to trust. Or maybe you can’t secure finance. If this all sounds too familiar, then this support is designed to help you.

It’s coordinated by Cumbria Action for Sustainability in partnership with the Farmer Network, thanks to funding from Electricity North West’s Powering Our Communities Fund and the Fellfoot Forward Landscape Partnership Scheme’s Community Fund led by the North Pennines AONB. We will be engaging closely with Electricity North West, the NFU, land agents and suppliers.

About the package of support

The farms will receive support on a one-to-one basis to help them assess the potential for renewables.

This will look primarily at solar PV – from small to large scale installations. We also want to explore with you the potential for other renewable technologies, including micro renewables that can support farmers to reduce carbon emissions, reduce their electricity bills, support sustainable farming businesses and predict and support future generation demand.

We are looking to support a range of different farm types: upland farms, dairy, beef, sheep, poultry, mixed stock and arable. This is so that we can share the learning with many other farmers within the Fellfoot area and across Cumbria.

We are keen to work with both owner and tenant farms.

What you get

  • A concise individual report for your farm, by our independent renewable energy consultant. Your report will cover:
    • Suitable roof areas and maximum feasible array sizes
    • Potential annual energy output
    • Self-consumption – assumed proportion and reasoning
    • Cost savings and possible export income with and without battery storage
    • Preliminary cost estimates
  • Support with signposting to funding, specialist consultants, installers and suppliers
  • Opportunities to join in free webinars and farm stakeholder events
  • Support to use your farm solar report as part of the free Farm Carbon Toolkit, which helps you to calculate your farm’s carbon footprint

Your overall report will give you more information on issues to think about when considering a solar system, and example costs for an average sized barn and a ground mounted system.

Our support package might also help you to investigate and progress particular solutions, or link you up to other programmes of support as they arise.

We will also produce a case study about each farm, focusing on the solutions that have been found and positive steps that have been taken. These will be shared with other similar farm businesses, to help them.

Timescales

The scheme is open for applications now and we’ll close it once we have eight farms on board, so please do apply as quickly as you can.

We expect the bulk of farm reports to be completed between August and November 2022.

Webinars and events for participating farms will be in late October to December 2022.

How to take part

If you’d like to put your farm forward for this support, please download and complete the form below.

Download the form

Please send completed forms to: [email protected]

You can also contact Roe if you’d like to find out more about the scheme before applying.