Looking to diversify your land use?

Partnering with landowners to power communities.

Lady walking dog

Thinking about land diversification?

We are always on the look out for the right partners with whom to develop our next energy project.

If you would like to hear more about collaborating with Exagen please get in touch.

Contact us

Hexagon

The benefits of partnership

Diversification

Partnering with us to host renewables is an excellent way of diversifying land management. It adds an index-linked, consistent income stream to your business that is not dependent on agriculture and so provides longer-term security and sustainability.

sheep solar

Dual land use

It is often possible for farmers to use the land around solar panels or turbines to optimise both land use and revenue. We continue to explore ways to improve both food and energy production.

farmer barn

Fostering biodiversity

We work with landowners to identify ways of enhancing existing foliage while improving the quality of topsoil and seed areas within the development. We achieve this by introducing a combination of grass and wildflowers that serve as habitats for bees and other essential pollinators.

wildflower meadow

Annual rental

Our flexible rental terms are competitive, providing a regular inflation-linked income to landowners. At the end of the rental period, we return the land to its original or improved state.

man and son

Covering costs

Exagen funds the project development and construction costs including landlords’ legal and agent expenses for arranging lease options. Landlords receive a fee when the lease is exchanged.

woman on phone

Is my land suitable?

Grid connection
Proximity to a reliable electricity network with sufficient capacity is essential to the viability of our projects.

If your land is located near or even beneath existing electrical infrastructure, including overhead transmission and distribution lines and substations, it could be suitable for renewable energy development. This location can reduce the time and cost of grid connection, while also minimising any potential negative impact on the environment and local communities.

Location
Solar farms are best built on large, flat fields. However, with careful planning, it’s also possible to build them on undulating or sloping land that’s ideally already hidden by existing vegetation. We prefer to develop on lower grade agricultural land that’s grade 3B or below and doesn’t have any environmental designations, such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Ecology, and Heritage designations.

For a solar site, we typically require at least 10 hectares (25 acres) of land from one landowner, but we’re open to working with multiple landowners in the same area to create a viable project. For battery storage sites, we usually look for 3-4 acres of disused brownfield land, although we may consider isolated greenfield sites as well.

There are many other factors to consider, and we’ll work with you early on to review design options for your land.

FAQ

How do I know if my land is ready for a solar installation?Reveal

Ideally sites will be large, flat fields with existing screening to the boundaries and on lower grade agricultural land outside of statutory environmental designations. Once in receipt of a potential site, Exagen will carry out an initial desktop feasibility assessment to establish its suitability. This will be based on a number of different factors, such as, agricultural land classification, flood risk, shading, visual impact and topography.  If potentially suitable, we visit the site to consider it in more detail and with the landowner’s authority, we also begin the process of establishing whether it is possible to connect the site to the grid.

As a landowner, how much could I earn?Reveal

In the UK, historically, there has been subsidy support from the Government for solar development. However, since 2015 the UK government has withdrawn subsidy support as a result of the falling cost of solar infrastructure.

Exagen is now building a pipeline of large-scale subsidy free solar projects in the UK, to capitalise on one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation and consequently deliver lower energy bills.

The cost of installation remains broadly similar per megawatt for each site.  However, the level of energy production and the cost of connecting to the power grid can differ considerably so the rent we can offer depends on a number of key variables, including:

  • Location – this determines the solar resource available and the solar value of the land;
  • Aspect, shading and gradient – this has a bearing on energy production;
  • Grid connection cost – this is a key variable in determining installation cost and time to connect, and;
  • Ability to include battery storage as part of the development, which requires the grid to accept both the export and import of electricity.

As every site is different, we create a bespoke deal for each landowner.  Should you wish to discuss your land, please call us. Our development team is ready to discuss rental rates with you.

Why is Exagen different from other developers?Reveal

Many developers look to secure land, grid and planning and then sell the project at the construction stage. However, Exagen provides a single point of contact for the landowner through the entire grid/planning process and during the construction phase into the operational phase – we are a developer, builder and asset manager. We work with a select number of planning and environmental consultants, including specialists in archaeology, landscape and ecology. This ensures a responsible approach to the development, while guaranteeing the installation remains sensitive to needs of the local community and environment. We are a UK founded and UK backed business who cares about the communities we work with.

How long will I be required to lease my land for?Reveal

The basic lease we require is for 40 years, in order to recoup the capital investment and to generate sufficient financial return.  It is therefore important that as landowner, you are comfortable with the long-term nature of our agreement. This does however provide a form of index linked income diversification for the farm over a long period.

As landowner, what risks do I face?Reveal

The financial risks are minimal for the landowner – we will cover all landowner legal costs during initial discussions in agreeing an option agreement. We operate a straight-forward land rental agreement, bound by a contractual lease. The solar farm is set up as a separate company with its own legal identity, thereby ensuring it remains separate and distinct from any potential financial liabilities of Exagen. The rental agreement is with the individual solar project company; with a predictable level of energy generation, the operational risks for this company are low. A fund is set aside in the final years of the lease to ensure money is available for the decommissioning and reinstatement of your land when it is returned to the condition it was in before the project.

What happens at the end of the lease?Reveal

We return your land to its previous state by removing all components of the solar farm allowing the land to revert to its former use.  This is not just a contractual agreement between you and Exagen, but is also typically, a prerequisite for the local planning authority to grant planning consent. Our panels are mounted on pile driven frames that cause minimum disturbance to the land and can be easily removed.

Is planning required and will I be responsible for this?Reveal

Any ground-mounted solar installation will require planning consent. Exagen manages this process, including preparation of the planning documents, meeting with the local planning authority and any interaction with the local community. Access to the land will be required for environmental surveys and used to inform the final design and assessments that are submitted with the planning application.

Is permission required to connect to the electricity grid network?Reveal

An application must be made to the Network Operator for approval, prior to carrying out the installation Exagen.  manages this, and we run this process in parallel with preparation of the planning application.