A local lawyer is advising farmers on the potential risks and benefits of hosting a battery storage system.
Battery storage could provide the solution to balancing supply and demand for energy in the future. Developers are now seeking to secure land for battery storage systems and many landowners are being approached. Kevin George, partner in Coodes Solicitors’ Liskeard office, is now advising the firm’s farming clients, who are starting to ask for legal advice on the issue.
George explained: “Farmers have always been good at looking for opportunities to diversify. Many of our clients in the south west responded to the fast growth of the renewable energy sector, by hosting solar farms or wind turbines. With uncertainty around the future of the Basic Payment Scheme, more farmers are investigating new and different business opportunities.
“A number of developers are now seeking sites for battery storage systems. This is an emerging industry, which has the potential to grow.”
With leases for battery storage being typically between 20 and 25 years, there is potential for landowners to earn a long-term rental income. Experts believe that battery storage could become a profitable business venture for some farms. However, with developers now seeking to secure the best sites for battery storage, Coodes is warning farmers to avoid being put under pressure to sign an agreement without first getting the right advice.
George added: “Developers are now seeking to secure the best sites for battery storage. This means they may give you the ‘hard sell’, putting you under pressure to sign an agreement as quickly as possible. You should not feel pressurised into an agreement before getting expert legal advice and ensuring you understand, and are happy with, the developer’s offer.
“If you decide to host a battery storage system, you will need to enter into a full-scale business lease with the developer. Before entering into negotiations, speak to a surveyor who understands your needs and has expertise on this complex area.
“Because battery storage is an emerging sector, it is not yet subject to specific Government regulations, so getting the right advice at the outset is the key to avoiding potential issues.”