Frequently asked questions from landowners
Sites are suitable for ground-mounted plants if the soil quality is poor, or if the land can no longer be used productively in another way.
The EU has adopted ambitious new targets to curb climate change, with a pledge to make them legally binding. The member states and the EU Parliament have agreed they will cut carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. As one of the most competitive electricity sources, solar energy can become a great contributor toward achieving these targets. However, use of rooftop PV systems (even though it is an excellent solution) cannot accommodate the demands of growing electrification in coming decades. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to make unused (poor quality) agricultural land available for photovoltaic usage.
IMPORTANT: Many agricultural areas are already being used to generate energy in the form of biofuels. Generating hydrogen through photovoltaic electricity produces ten times more fuel than through energy crops. This in turn means that photovoltaic plants require far less space than energy crops.
Our ground-mounted PV power plants are installed using a specially designed mounting frame. This is secured by pilings, which are only driven into the ground at specific points. As a result, only 1% of the ground is actually covered or "sealed" when installing a new PV project.
The project area can still be farmed provided that the crops don’t create shade or adversely affecting the photovoltaic power plant in any other way. This kind of dual usage is not only possible but actively encouraged by Enery.
It is possible to rear livestock in operational PV power plants, but certain types of animals work better than others. For instance, Enery actively encourages, and even helps subsidise sheep farming and beekeeping.
Unlike many other energy technologies, ground-mounted PV power plants have minimal impact on their surroundings. In fact, they can even help to improve the habitats of plants and wildlife. For instance, the area beneath the PV modules provides a shady refuge for many animals in the hot summer months. Ground-mounted PV power plants have also proven to be an ideal place for keeping bees. This is because pesticides are not used on solar farms, which improves honey quality enormously. In addition, the fenced enclosure provides a safe location for bee colonies.
The power plant provides a safe retreat for local wild animals. Hunting is not permitted on the grounds of our power plans, but for instance in Austria it is still technically classified as a private hunting ground.
Roof vs. ground-mounted installations
As recent studies have shown, installing photovoltaic plants solely on the roofs of buildings and in covered surfaces will not be enough to reach the EU‘s and national climate targets.
It is far cheaper to build PV power plants in open spaces than to install them on roofs or façades. This is because fixed costs such as planning, documentation, etc., are usually comparable regardless of the size of the plant. This means that larger plants benefit from economies of scale and can produce affordable, green electricity more efficiently.
Another important point in favour of ground-mounted PV plants is that many roofs are not facing in the right direction to be suitable for PV installations. This problem doesn’t occur with ground-mounted PV power plants, as the direction can be adjusted at will through the mounting frame.
Unlike rooftop versions, ground-mounted PV power plants don’t need state support. This means that ground-mounted PV projects also help to reduce the reliance on government funding.
Solar energy is supplied by nature and is free, abundant, and covers the peak electricity demand. The main advantage that photovoltaic plants have over other technologies is that they produce renewable energy without generating noise or pollutants. This means that they do not harm animals, people, or the environment. Another benefit of this technology is that when well situated, it is possible for the impact on the landscape to be kept to a minimum.
Forms of contract
Implementing a photovoltaic project requires a substantial amount of preparatory work on our part, including planning, documentation, obtaining permits, etc. Accordingly, the preliminary agreement is necessary for the planning stage of the project and protects the interests of both parties.
The land is leased for a minimum of 30 - 40 years, which is equivalent to the life of a photovoltaic plant. The rental payments for the land are adjusted for inflation over the contract term. The landowner remains the sole owner of the relevant area throughout the entire duration of the lease.
If the parties do not decide to extend the arrangement, the photovoltaic power plant is removed in its entirety.
While the power plant is in operation, the area must be mown and maintained to prevent shadows from being cast on the modules. This is carried out entirely by Enery and will not entail any additional work or expense for landowners.
In the unlikely case of bankruptcy, a receiver would be responsible for administrating the power plants. After the debt has been restructured, the receiver would either carry on running the existing power plant itself or sell it to another company that would also continue to run it. The worst-case scenario would be for the plant components (in particular the modules, inverter and mounting frame) to be sold at market prices and the money used to finance the removal of the plant. In other words, this guarantees that no remnants will be left on the site.
As project developer, we need this right so that we can take projects to the next level. Projects are financed using both equity and debt capital. Debt capital can only be obtained if certain rights and securites can be pledged to the debt providers.
PV plants are installed on open spaces. For this, the PV modules are mounted and placed in several rows
As we specialise in setting up large-scale projects, we have to feed the electricity we generate into the power grid, which is found in the immediate vicinity of your plot.
Yes. This is the only way to ensure that unauthorised people are not able to access the PV power plant. As there is also a danger of electric shock, the fence aims to prevent accidents and injuries, as well as helping to prevent theft.
The plants take between six and eight months to install.
Enery makes every effort to take into account the interests of all affected parties. With each individual project, Enery determines whether the plant needs to be screened off and takes any necessary steps.
Questions regarding photovoltaic technology
Yes, they are! Unlike conventional power plants, there are no direct greenhouse gas emissions associated with the operation of a PV plant. The energy used to produce the panels is regenerated during an operating time of between two and three years. Furthermore, with technology development, the amount of input materials used is minimised every year but also panels are now almost entirely recyclable.
The life of a PV power plant is at least 40 years. This also should corresponds to the duration of the lease. The plant’s decommissioning is responsibility of the operator (i.e. Enery).
A PV power plant only has a minimal impact on its surroundings. It blends in easily with the landscape and doesn’t require any land to be sealed. Compared with other renewable energy technologies like wind or hydropower, it increases biodiversity rather than reducing it.
Anything else you’d like to ask?
If you didn’t find the answer to your question here, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to hear from you and to help you in any way we can, even with complex problems concerning the green energy transition.