An Irish cow enjoying the sunset

Agricultural Solar Panels

With energy costs going up every year, many farms are looking to reduce their energy overheads and maintain profitability by installing solar PV panels. PureVolt Solar provide a full turn key solar installation service for the agricultural sector.

With large roof spaces and land, Irish farms are the ideal sites for solar PV that can significantly save on high daily energy consumption and future proof the business against rising electricity costs.

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Solar Panels for Farms

Farms have a unique opportunity in solar, with large roofs available on sheds plus the Agricultural industry availing of extra grants and supports that are not available to most businesses.

Savings are very significant too, with lifetime electricity generation costs from solar being as low as 7 cents / unit.

With the whole agricultural industry moving in the environmental direction, and the need to stay ahead of future regulations on carbon reduction, there's never been a better time for Agriculture businesses to consider solar panels.

How much power can I generate from a farm shed roof?

Here's a rough guide to get you started

Solar array size Shed roof area needed Electricity generation / year (south facing 10° roof)
20 Panels
8.7 kWp
42.3 m2 kWh
40 Panels
17.4 kWp
84.6 m2 kWh
60 Panels
26.1 kWp
126.9 m2 kWh
80 Panels
34.8 kWp
169.2 m2 kWh

What supports and grants are available?

There are quite a lot of different supports and grants available for agricultural businesses in Ireland.

Option 1: TAMS 3 - Solar Capital Investment Scheme

The Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme, now on version 3, has a special Solar Capital Investment Scheme within it. That offers grant aid at the enhanced rate of 60%. You can find out more on the Gov.ie page here: Solar Capital Investment Scheme (TAMS 3).

Option 2: Non-domestic microgen grant from the SEAI

This is the standard solar grant from the SEAI that covered most non-domestic solar installations, including on farms. You get paid an amount per kWp you install, and it will cover solar panel installation all the way up to 1,000kWp (~2299 panels). More about the Non-domestic microgen grant from the SEAI.

Which grant is the largest?

The TAMS 3 scheme covers a higher percentage of the costs in the vast majority of cases, so if you are eligible that would be the one to investigate first.

Can apply for both?

You can only receive one of these two grant options, as the rules of the TAMS Solar Capital Investment Scheme say that you cannot have other state or EU funding:

The applicant must give an undertaking that they have not sought or received, directly or indirectly, other national or EU funding for investments and/or actions qualifying for aid under this Scheme.

Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme

These are special reduced rate loans available to most business categories to help with energy efficiency investments. They not only have better rates but also more favourable terms of security than standard loans. You can find out more here: Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme.

Can I put solar panels on my farmhouse?

Yes, though that would be a different grant system. If you are looking to put solar panels on your farmhouse then the domestic pv solar grant from the SEAI (up to €2,100) would be the one that applies, as it's classed as a residential building, even if you also run your business from there.

Please check with the relevant body first

A little disclaimer - please do check with the relevant body for any of the above schemes before ordering solar.

We do our best to keep on top of all the rules, but our expertise is in solar, not govt schemes, so we might have made a mistake or missed something. The rules do change fairly frequently too, so it's possible that things have changed when you come to apply. Please do check with the relevant body for up to date information.

How much power can my shed generate?

You can get in touch any time and we'll gladly do a draft design for you. But if you'd like to have a play with the numbers first yourself then we've built a business solar pv calculator to help you here.

You can pop in various sizes and it'll show you things like the roof area needed, annual units made and more.

Please note this assumes the general business grant is being claimed (the Non Domestic Microgen Grant). For eligible farms the TAMS 3 Solar Capital Investment Scheme will generally pay more, as it can cover 60%.

See the Business Solar PV Calculator

Shed roof or ground-mounted? Where to put your solar panels

Both are possible and we have experience in both systems. Roof-mounting is by far the most common. This is because it's using unused "free" space, and it's also cheaper too. Ground mounting though is very do-able and we can gladly quote you for both options should you wish to compare.

Farm building roof types

One to look out for is asbestos on older shed roofs - we cannot work with this. Otherwise most roof types are fine, there's an array of different mounting equipment that'll work with most corrugated roof types.

Does the roof slope and direction matter?

Yes, but not hugely due to the flatter pitch. But shed roofs tend to be flatter that house roofs, with 10° to 15° being common pitches. The direction the roof faces has less effect on these shallower angles, and we've built a roof slope calculator here for you so you can see the effects that your roof orientation might have.

VAT rules on farm solar

A quick disclaimer that we are not accountants, so take with a pinch of salt. This though is our understanding of VAT rules on solar panel installations on farms.

Installations on Farm Buildings / Sheds

VAT is applied to commercial solar installations (normally at 13.5%). Flat rate farmers can reclaim the VAT both for the solar equipment and installation work. This includes not only the panels, but also an ancillary equipment and storage batteries.

The products installed must be named on the Triple E Product Register of energy efficient equipment. This, in short, is a register of energy efficient products maintained by the SEAI, and is used as a reference point for various schemes including if you are allowed to reclaim the VAT. At time of writing (Dec 2023) the equipment we use is all on the register, but if you are intending to reclaim the VAT under this scheme please do let us know so we can check the equipment selected for your solar installation is on the list.

You can check all the VAT rules for farm solar on revenue's website here.

Installations on Farmhouse

As a residential building, a solar installation on a farmhouse would be a 0%. If we are installing on a mixed use building that shares the electricity (part residential and part business), then the VAT would be applied pro-rata.

Benefits of Agri Solar PV

Energy Security

Protect your farm against rapidly rising energy costs from the national grid by installing solar PV.

Reduce your farm's carbon footprint

As solar PV is carbon neutral and completely renewable, installing solar on your farm will lower your farm's carbon footprint, and it's a fantastic way to do your part in the fight against climate change.

Financial Savings

Installing solar PV panels will reduce your farm's energy usage and electricity bills. Savings from solar can be re-invested back into the farm for continued growth.

Government Grants

There are some of the best grants and supports available for Farm Solar, notably the Solar Capital Investment Scheme (TAMS 3) grant which can cover 60%. Solar PV also qualifies for accelerated capital allowance if you pay the corporation tax rate.

How does it work?

Data Collection

The first step in the process. We gather as much information as possible to make an informed assessment. We will request your annual site electrical data and determine your roof space and what is achievable in terms of roof area and roof type.

Preliminary Proposal

As soon as we have analysed the data and determined the correct system size we will present you with a preliminary proposal.

A preliminary proposal is sufficiently detailed enough to allow us to allow us to determine if a solar array is the right solution for you farm. We want what is right for you. So this is an important step before either party commits too much time or resource on something that may not progress past the concept stage in the short/medium-term.

Full Technical Site Survey

If our proposal is within the ballpark, the next step is to meet you on-site to measure and understand the different variables on-site.

Official Proposal

Assuming all goes well we will return to you a formal proposal. This proposal will be more detailed than the preliminary proposal and gives an indication of what the installation will look like and if there will be interruptions to site operations.

Project Agreed

Once you have agreed to move forward with your project we begin the process for ESB Networks connection application and planning permission if required.

Project Delivery

As soon as the appropriate permissions are agreed upon and in place, we move into the installation phase

We work closely with you and your teams to ensure there is minimal disruption to site operations.

System Commissioning and Handover

Once your solar PV system has been successfully installed, we will arrange a detailed handover with you and your team. We will go through all the various operating procedures and the online monitoring portal.

One Year Review

One year on from when your system is commissioned we will organise an annual review of your system. We will analyse your system data, give the system a health check and provide you with feedback on performance.

Get in touch to see what going solar could save your business. It's quick, easy, and free.

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Invest in the farm of the future

Clean energy

Generate your own clean electricity from renewable resources.

Lower carbon emissions

Meet your sustainability goals, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with it.

Positive return on investment

Installation of a solar PV system provides a tangible and positive ROI.

Energy security

Ensure yourself against future price rises by going energy independent.

Reduce your bills

By investing in solar, you can slash your energy bills by up to 50% overnight.

Integrated system

Integrate your solar PV system with other eco-solutions like your EV charger.

Get your space working for you

With solar PV, your existing roof space becomes a company asset.

Go even further

Reduce your bills and your carbon footprint even further with our energy saving tips.

Aerial View of Farmland Roofs

Why Solar?

Rapidly rising energy costs are adding to the escalating overheads faced by Irish farmers. Farm buildings and land are ideal locations for the installation of solar PV, helping Irish farms significantly reduce their electricity bill.

Grain farmers, Dairy Farmers and Chicken Farmers all require a lot of energy to operate their farms. Solar PV provides a excellent opportunity for agricultural solar panels to reduce energy costs.

A farms general energy consumption matches the daytime solar generation which means that the farm will need to import less energy from the grid with can be at a cost of 4 times that of solar.

Solar panels on a house in Ireland

Cost and Financial Returns

Agricultural solar PV installations cost range between €1,300 and €1,600 per kWp installed. Costs depend on a number of factors such as roof access, roof covering, pitch and electrical installation costs. For a 20kWp system fully installed the system will cost in the region of approximately €26,000 and €32,000 ex VAT.

A kWp will give an estimated saving of around €254 per year. This results in an estimated saving of €5,100 per year for a 20kWp system, providing a return on investment of between 5 and 7 years. The panels and the mounting equipment will last 25 years or more with the solar inverter likely needing to be replaced in this time frame.

The return on investment comes in the form of significantly reduced electricity bills. Each kWh generated and consumed on-site from the solar PV system is worth approx. 30 cent (estimated unit rate of electricity). Over the 25 year lifespan of the system, one kWp will generate roughly 750-900kWh per year. That is around 20,000kWh over the lifetime of the system which works out at a cost of 7 cent per kWh of Solar generated and a net savings of 23 cent for every kWh generated and consumed.

Installing solar panels on an Irish business

Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has launched the €150m Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. This finance scheme offers loans for SMEs planning to invest in solar panels, heat pumps, LED lighting, and other energy-saving technology.

Businesses using the new Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme will benefit from easier access and reduced interest rates. Fixed rates of 4.79% are currently available on loans ranging from €10,000 to €150,000, over terms of up to 10-years. There are no personal guarantees required, either.

More about the Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme

Excellent Return on Investment

A solar PV panel installations will provide clean free electricity for more than 25 years. It is likely to achieve returns of more than 12% per annum and a payback period of between 5-7 years. Investing in solar means that you are protecting your farm and money against rising energy and inflation.

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We are PureVolt Why choose us?

Kelly Preston - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Daniel Aston - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Eileen Weadick - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Gary Hanley - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Gonzalo Mancilla - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Greg King - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Ian Murphy - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
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James Smyth - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
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Keith Ryan - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Phil Teare - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Lorcan Barrett-Gomez - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
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Nathan Wareing - Team Member at PureVolt Solar
Straight talking

We give you the naked facts in plain English so you can make your own decisions. Ask us anything.

No sales team

You'll speak to solar engineers, not salespeople. We aim to give you the best information about solar, that's all.

Solar specialists

We don't dabble. Installing solar panels is what we do, and we're very good at it. But don't take our word for it, check out our reviews...

Sensible pricing

We're not the cheapest of the cheap. Our prices reflect good value, top workmanship and great service. No compromises on quality.

Eco credentials

We want to see Ireland go green. Our goal is to play some small part in that. Ask us about our own eco credentials: we lead by example.

Quick turnaround

From your initial enquiry to installation and beyond, we won't leave you waiting. Ask us how our installation teams work.

What you can expect from us

Full design & build solution

There is a lot more to solar than just fixing some PV panels to your roof. We use specialist solar design software to get exactly the right solution for you and your home.

Experienced registered installers

Your solar journey should be as smooth as possible. That's why we only work with SEAI registered solar panel installers. We don't have a sales team. Everyone who works for us is an experienced engineer who can speak to you in plain English.

Support & warranties

When it comes to solar, there should be no repeat customers. That's because, when we install your system, it should last for a generation. Our solar panels come with a 25-year manufacturer's warranty as standard. Other parts and labour are also guaranteed. This is a long-term investment and, if you need help, we're here for the long-haul.

Fully insured

The safety and security of your home is very important to us. That's why we carry a minimum of €5 million of Public and Product Liability Insurance, as well as €500,000 of Professional Indemnity Insurance and €13.5 million of Employer's Liability Insurance.

Fanatical about customer service

Switching to solar electricity should make you feel good. With PureVolt Solar, you will be dealing with the same person from start to finish – and it's their job to make that happen. You should expect exceptional customer service before, during and after your installation. No exceptions.

No hidden costs

With our straightforward pricing, you will always know exactly what you're spending and exactly what you're getting. No hidden costs, no unpleasant surprises.

No suit, no briefcase

If you're looking for a flashy sales rep, we can't help you sorry. With PureVolt Solar, you'll be dealing with skilled engineers who believe in solar and who can answer your questions in plain English.

Open, honest and transparent

If your home isn't suitable for solar or battery storage, we'll say so. If we mess something up, we'll hold our hands up straight away and put things right. No matter the situation, you can expect us to be 100% upfront and honest. It's written into our core values.

Technical excellence

We're a small team of self-confessed tech nerds, and we only work with the best technologies available. That goes for their value and their performance. In a fast-changing industry, we want you to have peace of mind that you're getting the very best products available. They're the only products we offer.

Help Flying the flag

There's never been more pressure on businesses not just to do their part, but to show they are doing their part. We can help. Drone imagery, sustainability reports, and we can even get out our megaphone and shout about your eco investments through our own channels too.

How can we help you?

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