Solar crop is a hit on the farm

David Proudley, the son of farm owner Ken and a partner in the caravan park business, takes a look at the new solar panels installed by Tankersley-based Nationwide Solar.
David Proudley, the son of farm owner Ken and a partner in the caravan park business, takes a look at the new solar panels installed by Tankersley-based Nationwide Solar.
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Solar energy specialist Nationwide Solar is helping a Yorkshire farmer to reap the benefits of green energy.

The Tankersley-based company has installed solar panels on the roof of one of the largest buildings at Ken Proudley’s South Carolina Farm and caravan park in Easingwold near York.

Nationwide has helped Mr Proudley to accurately predict the return he will make on his investment by guaranteeing the amount he will earn from the government-backed Feed in Tariff scheme.

The company is enabling Mr Proudley to install a larger area of panels than he might originally have been able to afford by taking a 30 per cent stake in the project, which he can acquire at an agreed rate in the future.

The system will generate enough free electricity to cover between a third and a half of the power needed by Mr Proudley’s farmhouse and caravan park, which can accommodate up to 15 touring caravans and attracts visitors throughout the year.

Mr Proudley said: “I can easily monitor how much energy it is producing each day either by a read-out on the meter or through Nationwide Solar’s website.

“So far the performance has been excellent, with several days in which the energy generated was far higher than was predicted, and we have started to receive quarterly tariff payments, which represent a significant income for the business.”

Nationwide Solar’s managing director, Russ Cowan, said: “Many farmers throughout the UK are recognising the benefits of having solar photovoltaics installed on their buildings.

“Installations of this type give an average return of 11.6 per cent, which is considerably higher than can be gained elsewhere and, as such, people are seeing solar panels as a very worthwhile investment.”