How can we help?

To help answer any questions you may have about our proposals, please see our frequently asked questions below. Alternatively, our team will be running a consultation event or you can contact us directly.

Community

Do JBM engage with the local community?

Of course.  JBM work hard to engage with the community, from the presentation and discussion of project plans to ensuring opportunities to provide detailed feedback on proposals.  JBM regularly partner with local wildlife groups and welcome school visits.

Will there be a benefit to the local community?

Working in partnership with local communities to unlock a project’s full potential is at the heart of what we do. We work with local people to shape the future of our projects and to ensure the benefits of solar energy developments are realised in a way that positively impacts local people.

We invest in significant green infrastructure on each of our sites. This could include, accessible footpaths, new native planting, improved highway safety, outdoor classrooms, picnic benches and community orchards. We also provide a community benefit fund to local parish council(s) of £150,000, which can be used to fund rooftop solar on community buildings and/or fund other

Do Solar farms create jobs and do you hire locally?

Construction activity on site as well as well as civil engineering works for the solar farm are likely to be sourced locally.  Other opportunities for local suppliers relate to contractors for aggregates, landscaping supplies, haulage as well as plant hire.  Construction staff are also likely to use local accommodation and shops / restaurants.  Once operational the solar farm does not require any permanent staff, however there will be a need for ongoing monitoring, cleaning, landscape maintenance and general maintenance over the course of the year.

Solar

Does solar PV work well in the UK? Is it sunny enough?

Absolutely.  Solar works well everywhere in the UK. Solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to operate and produce power all year round, accounting for about 4% of national consumption.  In the middle of a sunny day, they can produce over a quarter of the UK’s power.

Is solar expensive?

Not at all. Solar provides one of the cheapest forms of electricity in the UK. This year alone solar has been over 4 x cheaper than gas and 2 x cheaper than nuclear in the UK.

How does a solar PV installation work?

PV panels are installed in rows on the land.  Electrical converters take the DC power which is generated by the PV panels and convert this to AC power – the standard form of electricity for the National Grid.  The power is then stepped up to the required voltage and distributed to the grid.

A generation meter records the amount of electricity generated and supplied to the grid.  The owner of the facility is then paid for the power generated. In return for leasing land, the landowner shares in this revenue through an attractive rental income.  This amount is established at the outset of our agreement with a long-term lease and protected from inflation for 30-40 years.

How long do PV modules last?

The lifespan of PV panels is 40 years. For this reason, our standard lease term is 40 years.  We typically look for options to extend this for another five years (subject to a new planning application), although any extension is up to the landowner.

What is the construction time?

This depends on the size of the installation. A typical build time is around six months.

Planning & Development

Are solar farms built with the landscape in mind?

Absolutely, we work closely with communities to ensure that our solar farms blend in and restore traditional meadows and hedgerows to the countryside. The maximum height of our solar panels are three metres, which is the equivalent of a well-maintained hedgerow.

Do solar panels create glint and glare?

Barely any.  Glint and glare are not a problem.  Solar panels are designed to absorb light. The more light a panel absorbs, the more power it will generate.

Why are most solar farms built on agricultural land?

Being one of the cheapest forms of clean renewable energy, a fivefold increase in solar capacity is anticipated by 2050 in the Government’s Energy Security Strategy 2022. This cannot be achieved through rooftop and brownfield solar installations alone, as they have considerable practical barriers of their own.

Many domestic and industrial buildings either do not have roofs made of suitable material to support a solar system, do not have the infrastructure to export electricity to the gird, or simply present as an unaffordable solution, with initial costs of installation too high for some. As a result, agricultural land typically of moderate or low quality is also used, without impacting on food security.

Does land used for solar farms reduce food security?

No. Solar farms provide valuable income for farmers, they can still be used for grazing, and can support UK farmers to continue food production on other parts of their land.  Some developers consider growing produce under or alongside solar panels.

How much space will solar farms take up?

Very little. Even under 2050 Net Zero targets, Solar farms would occupy 0.5% of the UK’s land – much less that what is currently used by golf courses.

Once built will the development be noisy?

The only items which generate noise are the inverters and batteries, which are typically in the centre of the site and away from houses. We also include a full noise assessment within our planning application.

Will there be much disturbance during construction?

We aim to access sites and manage all traffic in such a way that it will have a minimum impact on surrounding communities.

Will there be fencing around the site?

Yes, we will put up a deer fence around the site in order to keep it secure, which is a planning requirement. The fencing will include gates that will allow small mammals to pass through.

Sustainability

Are solar farms good for nature?

Certainly.  Solar farms provide benefits such as improving local biodiversity by supporting new and existing plant and animal life.  We do our research on the site to understand the wildlife that is present and change our proposals to best support the environment.

JBM commit to a minimum of 50% biodiversity net gain on each site, but our our average biodiversity net gain across all of our sites sits at over 100% habitat (over 12 times the policy requirement) and 42% for hedgerows (over 4 times the policy requirement). This is due to the considerable amount of new habitats that are created as part of each development.

How does solar energy contribute to a sustainable future?

By diversifying away from fossil fuel energy, solar energy can provide a reliable and secure source of domestic renewable energy, which is significantly cheaper to the consumer than traditional fossil fuel generated electricity, whilst also reducing our carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

Secondly solar energy represents income diversification that helps keep farmers in business, allowing them to continue to invest locally, employ locally and farm in a sustainable manner.

Does manufacturing solar panels produce more carbon than they save in their lifetime?

No. Solar projects save vast amounts of carbon emissions over their lifetime. Research shows their carbon payback time is 1-4 years and thay they generate a hundred time more energy than it takes to make them over a 40-year warranty period.

Are solar panels recyclable?

Certainly. Up to 99% of materials in a solar panel are recyclable. All of which can be extracted, separated, recycled or reused. Solar panels are built to last and can function for decades.

Are solar farms good for farmers and landowners?

Solar farm provide an opportunity

How did JBM start?

JBM was founded in 2012 by Brendan O’Brien and David Cramer in the UK.  To find out more about JBM please visit our website here.

What markets are JBM active in?

JBM operate across the UK developing solar farms and battery energy storage systems

Is JBM now part of RWE?

JBM Solar is a part of RWE, the UK’s leading power generator and a major player in the development, construction and operation of renewable energies, and decarbonisation projects. We are combining our own industry-leading expertise and knowledge of Solar and co-located battery development with RWE’s significant prowess in building and operating power generation projects that provide enough electricity to power more than 14 million UK homes.

Do you have any job openings?

Please check our careers page to see what vacancies are available here.

This briefing document covers a number of commonly asked questions about solar energy in an easy-to-understand, and interesting way.
This briefing document explains the role of solar farms in supporting the UK’s food supply.
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