LAND AGENTS and farmers who are buying and selling land should always check the potential for renewable energy projects before proceeding, or risk missing out on valuable contracts.

Independent energy specialist Hugh Taylor has stressed that the value of land which is suitable for generating or storing renewable energy could be considerably higher than land which does not have such capacity.

“We recently had a case where a large land agent was selling land for a client and wanted to check if there was an opportunity for a high value energy scheme,” said Mr Taylor. “The client didn’t want to pay the £350 for a survey, so it wasn’t carried out. Within a week, we were approached by a prospective purchaser to carry out our Stop/Go study on the same land, which revealed there was 20MW of grid capacity available for battery storage.”

At that time, such a scheme was worth around £60,000 a year in rent for the next 30 years, potentially adding about £1.5million to the value of just an acre of land. It was not an opportunity to miss: “On the day the purchaser completed the sale we submitted their grid application and secured them an incredibly cheap 20MW connection offer,” he reported.

Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, said that the case demonstrated the importance of carrying out such studies when buying or selling land: “Land prices can be significantly affected by genuine renewable energy opportunities. While sellers and purchasers often consider whether there is potential for planning permission to develop land or buildings, they shouldn’t forget about possible energy projects.”