In the space of just six weeks Southern Solar has completed the largest privately-owned solar photovoltaics installation in the UK. Situated on the roof of a poultry farm in Herefordshire, the 300kWp system features 1,600 solar PV panels covering 2,000m2 of south-facing roof.

Roger Bowen's Brooklands Farm will now benefit from free solar energy, which will meet up to 55% of the poultry farm's annual heating and ventilating needs. The installation is estimated to have cost £2.60-2.80 per watt, although some additional costs were incurred due to the system's complexity and the short timescale for completion ahead of proposed cuts to the feed-in tariff on August 1.

At the current subsidy rate for this system, the farm will go from having a net energy cost of around £35,000 per annum to a net annual income of around £55,000. Payback is estimated to be 9-10 years.

Howard Johns, Chairman of the Solar Trade Association and Managing Director of Southern Solar, said, “The coalition Government needs to acknowledge this and provide a stable feed-in tariff regime so farming and other industries in the UK are able to do the same.”

“We are urging people to support the UK's fledgling solar industry and calling on Government to remove the cap on the tariff and leave us with feed-in tariff levels that works.”