UK-based solar developer and independent power producer (IPP) mO3 Power is to entice British farmers into installing solar power on their land. The company has revealed plans to provide a gigawatt of electricity across the UK, which is enough to power 700,000 homes for 25 years.

mO3 estimates that farmers could potentially earn £50,000 a year by hosting solar panel plants on their land, benefitting from the UK’s feed-in tariff (FiT). This will be a welcome sum for many farmers, who suffered a 7% drop in income last year as commodity prices fell. By installing solar panels, farmers are guaranteed a tax-free return for a period of 25 years.

The solar development company, which currently has planning applications in for 34 sites in the UK, points towards the country’s ambitious Climate Change Act  – which commits the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 – as the reason why it is aiming so high with farmland installations. The Climate Change Act sets carbon budgets in five-year increments and has independent review provisions through its Committee on Climate Change. There is also a European commitment to meeting 20% renewable generation targets by 2020.

In related news, New Look founder Tom Singh has taken a 10% stakeholding in mO3 Power. As well as holding this stake, Singh will join the board of mO3 Power as a Non-Executive Director. Singh’s investment is part of the second round of investment in mO3 Power, which has just closed. 

“mO3 have a compelling business case, and will, I am sure, be the volume player in the UK solar PV market. The company has put together a winning combination of suppliers and banks to deliver on its significant pipeline of sites. Its management team is as mature and capable as any that I have seen,” said Singh.

John Moreton, Chairman of mO3 Power said, “This is one of the very few occasions where Tom Singh has joined the Board of a company outside of the retail sector and demonstrates Tom’s enthusiasm for the mO3 business plan and the solar PV sector.”