Why solar?

Landowners and communities across Australia are seeing first-hand how solar pays off. Selling your land for a solar farm can be lucrative, or alternatively allocating a portion of your land to lease for a solar farm opens up a diversified and dependable income stream. Responsibly designed solar can be a partner that supports the success of Australia’s rural communities for generations to come.

With thousands of hectares under management, Lightsource bp is increasingly Australia’s trusted partner for solar land leases that deliver secure, long-term income to landowners. Our approach to landowner partnerships stems from our deep knowledge of the rural economy. We sit down with you to understand your goals and requirements for your land and to explore whether ‘solar as a crop’ is right for you. And we consider closely the needs of the surrounding community and environment.

Benefits

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Predictable, long-term revenue stream

The life of our solar projects spans from 30 to 40 years, so we will enter into a long-term lease agreement with a landowner. We commit to a competitive rental income above standard agricultural lease rates. Rates are typically paid per hectare. This long-term income provides you with a secure and diversified revenue stream for years to come, helping to keep farms in the family and manage estate planning.

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Stable and quiet neighbours

Solar projects make quiet, non-intrusive neighbours. A solar farm has a profile that of 2 to 4 meters high, with 4 metres being the peak height as the panels rotate during the day to follow the sun. Solar farms are enclosed by fencing and landscaping to minimize visual impacts and often add hundreds of trees to the neighbourhood. As a good neighbour, solar farms don’t have wild parties or play music at 1am!

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A trusted partner for the long term

Creation of a solar farm is a long-term investment and Lightsource bp has a proven track record as a global leader in the development and operation of renewable energy. Lightsource bp is a 50:50 joint venture with bp, giving us the financial resources to live up to our promises. We are committed to the long-term operation of our projects. Lightsource bp maintains operational responsibilities of our facilities so you can always be assured of who will be there maintaining the site for the long-term future.

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Preservation of land and value

Studies have examined property values and have found that large-scale solar arrays often have no measurable impact on the value of adjacent properties, and in some cases may even have positive effects. Proximity to solar farms also has not been found to deter the sales of surrounding agricultural or residential land. Solar farm development acts as a tool to preserve existing agricultural lands and allow the soils to rest and renew for future reintroduction into agricultural production. Once construction is completed, the majority of the solar project is allowed to go back to nature and seeded with a seed mix intended to enhance local biodiversity. Once the project is operational, physical disturbance of the land is minimal. Since the solar panels are mounted on posts, the growth of natural vegetation under the panels allows for a new ecosystem to develop including flora and fauna. The new permanent ecosystem allows for natural drainage and the interception of storm water.

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Dual land use

Our solar panels and equipment typically occupy only 30% of the leased land, leaving an array of opportunity for beneficial dual use. The design of the solar farm can incorporate grazing of small livestock like sheep, host pollinator gardens, and more. We pride ourselves on designing the solar installation to accommodate your farming priorities and practices, to ensure we are not limiting any adjacent agriculture.

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Biodiversity and long-term land management plans

Once a solar farm is built, it becomes a nature haven that’s undisturbed for many years. We have seen plant and wildlife habitats increase at our solar farms, and we create environmental management plans for each of our solar farms with the goal of increasing local biodiversity. A customized long-term land maintenance plan will guarantee the highest productivity from the solar farm, and ensure it blends with the aesthetic character of your local community. At the end of the project the installation will be dismantled, removed and recycled without harming the land – we make sure that the land is returned to its original state, or better.

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Financing growth and planning for succession

Farm rental income is considered a favourable revenue stream by banks and lenders, which has allowed our solar farm landowners to successfully secure further financing using the rental income. This also allows landowners to address and improve future financial planning for their business and family.

Coming on board

Terms of our lease are carefully crafted specifically for each landowner. If you’re interested in partnering on a solar project where you own the land, get in touch using the button below. Our team of solar experts will contact you to gather information and work with you to assess if a solar lease agreement is mutually beneficial. We look forward to working with you.

Contact us