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 Solar Panels for Farms

Using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on farms can be a smart and environmentally friendly way to generate renewable energy and reduce electricity costs. Solar PV panels convert sunlight directly into electricity, making them a viable option for powering various aspects of a farm's operations.

Why You Should Have Solar PV Panels for your Farm

Here are some considerations and benefits when using solar PV panels for farms:

Cost Savings &  Income Generation

Solar panels can significantly reduce or even eliminate electricity bills for a farm by generating free electricity from the sun's energy.

In some regions, excess electricity generated by the solar panels can be sold back to the grid, generating additional income for the farm.

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Environment Impact & Stable Energy Costs

Solar energy is clean and renewable, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.

By investing in solar, farms can hedge against future electricity price increases, as the sun's energy is free and abundant.

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Solar Panel Battery Storage

Remote Power Generation & Low Mentainance

Solar panels can be installed in remote areas where grid access might be challenging, providing power to critical equipment and infrastructure.

Solar panels require minimal maintenance, typically consisting of occasional cleaning and inspections.

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Long Lifespan

Solar panels have a long lifespan (often around 25-30 years or more), providing consistent energy generation over an extended period.

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Grants - TAMS support

If eligible, the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) provides a 40% grant on a solar PV investment, while young qualified farmers can get up to 60% in grant aid. PV installers need to be on the SEAI register of installers or the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) approved list.

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Considerations: Solar PV Panels for your Farm

Domestic Solar PV Panels for Homes

Location and Sunlight 

Assess the farm's location to determine the amount of sunlight it receives throughout the year. The efficiency of solar panels depends on the available sunlight.

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Energy Needs

Calculate the farm's energy needs to determine the size of the solar PV system required. This will involve analyzing historical electricity consumption data.

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Roof or Ground Installation

Solar panels can be installed on rooftops, barns, or on the ground, depending on available space and structural considerations.

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Orientation and Tilt

Proper orientation and tilt angle of the solar panels can optimize energy generation. South-facing panels with a tilt angle close to the latitude of the location are generally recommended for maximum output.

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Financing Options

Explore financing options such as loans, grants, and incentives to help offset the upfront costs of installing solar panels.

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Desk of Architectural working solar panel home project in construction site,With drawing equipment concept.

Regulations and Permits

Check local regulations, permits, and zoning requirements for solar panel installations. Some areas might have specific guidelines for solar systems on agricultural land.

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hybrid Solar PV system

System Integration

Consider how the solar PV system will integrate with the farm's existing electrical infrastructure. This may involve working with an electrician or solar installer.

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off grid solar pv

Storage Options

Depending on the farm's needs, consider adding energy storage solutions (like batteries) to store excess energy for use during cloudy days or at night.

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Commercial Solar PV Panels


Although solar panels require minimal maintenance, periodic cleaning and inspections are necessary to ensure optimal performance.

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Using solar PV panels on farms can not only contribute to a more sustainable energy future but also provide economic benefits in the form of reduced energy costs and potential income generation.

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Hercuglas Renewables Work - Solar PV Panels Ground

In a solar panel system, the ground typically consists of a grounding electrode, such as a ground rod or a grounding plate, that is connected to the electrical system's grounding conductor. The grounding conductor is a copper wire that runs from the solar panels to the ground electrode.

The purpose of grounding in a solar panel system is to provide a path for electrical current to flow into the ground in the event of a fault or surge, effectively redirecting the dangerous current away from the system and preventing damage or harm. It helps to stabilize the system's electrical potential and reduces the risk of electric shock or fire.

Solar PV for Farms
Solar PV for Farms

VAT (flat rate farmers) - TAMS support

Since January 1, 2012 a flat rate farmer can claim back the VAT incurred on the purchase of a solar PV system, which is designed to be used mainly or solely in his or her farming business. The PV system must be named on Triple E Product Register. This Register is the public database maintained by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) containing a list of products which comply with the energy efficiency criteria of that Authority. It can be accessed at the SEAI website: The claim is made through the Revenue Commissioners VAT 58 form

TAMS support is now available to support up to 11kW solar PV on dairy, beef, tillage and sheep farms. This complements the 40% support already available to the pig and poultry sector through the Pig and Poultry Investment Scheme 40%, which is not limited to 11kW.
Farmers should check their insurances to ensure that they have cover for such work. They should insist on seeing datasheets of the technology being installed, and get written confirmation of place of manufacture and warranties with exclusions.
Another key issue is business reputation and robustness, as some installer companies sail close to the edge financially. Farmers need to pay deposits to companies which are solid and going to be around for the long term. Farmers need assurances that purchased panels are warranted against ammonia erosion, especially on pig and poultry units. See the TAMS section of the DAFM website for full terms and conditions.

Financial returns

Once you have bought your solar PV panels, the maintenance and operating costs are small. The panels and inverters will require cleaning approximately every 10 years. Panel output should be expected to fall at a rate of 1% per year. The financial return is mainly tied up with the value and amount of energy generated.
The main part of this is derived from the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff, which would pay a set amount of money per kWh of electrical energy generated. The Republic of Ireland does not have any feed-in tariff for solar PV at present. A feed-in tariff would normally be paid by a registered electricity company of your choice and would be determined at the time of application, according to the technology and the size of installation you have. In some countries you can receive a feed-in tariff regardless of whether you export or use the electricity yourself. These tariffs are generally linked to inflation for periods of 15-20 years.

Solar PV for Farms


1. Site Assessment and Design:

  • We will visit the location to assess the site's suitability for solar panel installation. Factors such as sun exposure, shading, roof condition, and available space will be evaluated.
  • We will design the solar panel system based on the site assessment, energy consumption, and specific requirements. This includes determining the number and placement of solar panels, inverter capacity, and electrical wiring configuration.

2. Obtaining Permits and Approvals:

Before installation, permits and approvals may be required from local authorities, homeowner associations, or utility companies. The installer will handle the necessary paperwork and ensure compliance with local regulations and building codes.

3. Installation

  • The solar panels and associated mounting hardware will be installed on the roof or ground, following the design specifications.
  • Wiring will be run from the panels to the inverter, which is typically installed near the electrical service panel.
  • Proper grounding and electrical connections will be made to ensure safety and code compliance.

4. Electrical and System Integration

  • The inverter, which converts the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into AC electricity used in homes or businesses, will be connected to the electrical service panel.
  • A net meter, if required by the utility, may be installed to measure the electricity produced and fed back into the grid.
  • The system will undergo thorough electrical testing to ensure proper functionality and compliance with electrical standards.

5. Inspection and Activation

A final inspection will be conducted by the local building department or relevant authority to verify that the installation meets safety and code requirements.
Once the system passes inspection, it can be activated and connected to the electrical grid.
The installer may provide instructions on monitoring the system's performance and may assist with any necessary paperwork for interconnection agreements or net metering.

Need help? Book a call at a time to suit your schedule

The Hercuglas team is delighted to talk with you.

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