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.


Do JBM engage with the local community?

Of course.  JBM place community consultation at the heart of what we do. We always seek to understand the views of local residents/stakeholders prior to submission to improve our schemes. Further to this, we hold consultation days, attend council meetings, and engage local wildlife groups and schools to get a wide range of feedback on our proposals.

Will there be a benefit to the local community?

We work with local people to shape the future of our projects and to ensure the benefits of our developments are realised in a way that positively, and directly impacts local people.

We typically invest around £250,000 into local green infrastructure on a typical site, which could include: wider/more accessible footpaths, new permissive pathways through the site, new native tree/hedge planting, outdoor play areas, picnic benches, community orchards,  rooftop solar for community buildings/schools and funding for other local projects/initiatives. We listen to suggestions during public consultation to provide the best possible outcome.

We also provide a community benefit fund on all of our projects to support local projects/iniatives.

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 and ecological maintenance, and general maintenance over the course of the year.


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

Absolutely.  Solar works well in the UK. Solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to operate, just light, and produce power all year round. Battery storage integrated into the site allows for power to be exported at times of high demand.

Is solar expensive?

Not at all.  Solar provides one of the cheapest forms of electricity available, 4x cheaper than gas and over 2x cheaper than nuclear.  The energy price crisis has made the case for solar even stronger. The more solar is deployed, the cheaper bills will become.

How does a solar PV installation work?

PV panels are installed in rows on the land, usually with 4-5m gaps in between each row.  When light shines on the panels, electrical inverters turn the ‘DC’ power which is generated by the panels and convert this to ‘AC’ power. The power is then adjusted to the required voltage and distributed to homes via the National grid network.

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 a rental income.  This amount is established at the outset of our agreement with a long-term lease for 40 years.

How long do PV modules last?

The lifespan of PV panels is around 40 years. For this reason, our standard permission extends 40 years.

What is the construction time?

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

Planning & Development

Are solar farms built with the landscape in mind?

Absolutely, we work closely with communities to ensure that our applications include robust, effective landscaping plans. These are designed not only to minimise views of the panels, but to blend in and restore field margins and hedgerows to the countryside. The maximum height of our solar panels is three metres, which is the equivalent of a well-maintained hedgerow. When adding in interspersed, mature trees into the hedge, this can screen longer range views, more elevated of the site.

Do solar panels create glint and glare?

With new anti-glare coating the panels are now fitted with, glint and glare is not an issue.  Solar panels are designed to absorb light; the more light a panel absorbs, the more power it will generate, so there is a clear incentive to avoid glare.

Why are most solar farms built on agricultural land?

As the cheapest form of energy, as well as being 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 used, without impacting on food security.

Does land used for solar farms reduce food security?

No. Even with panels the farm can still be used for chicken or sheep grazing, and can support farmers through difficult times, ensuring continued food production.

How much space will solar farms take up?

Very little. Even under 2050 Net Zero targets, Solar farms would occupy 0.3% of the UK’s land – less that what is currently used by golf courses. This would still leave 99.7% of UK land.

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?

Due to the limited ground penetration required in the construction of a solar farm (around 1%), the impacts of construction are limited. We try to access sites using existing farm entrances, and manage all traffic in such a way that avoids peak hours / has a minimal impact on surrounding communities. Typically during contruction just one delivery every hour is required.

Will there be fencing around the site?

Yes, we will put up a wooden post, stock deer fence around the site in order to keep it secure. The fencing will include gates that will allow small mammals to pass through, and is found across the countryside on farms and allotments alike.


Are solar farms good for nature?

Absolutely.  Solar farms provide significant benefits to local wildlife and biodiversity through the transformation of an intensively farmed arable monoculture to a vast new diverse grassland and wildflower habitat. Additionally, the complete cessation of the intensive use of fertilisers and pesticides from the site allows species such as pollinators to flourish, greatly increasing foraging potential for local bird/bat/mammal species. Long term studies comparing arable farms to adjacent solar farms finds considerably higher biodiversity and wildlife potential on the solar farm sites for the above reasons.

JBM commit to a minimum of 50% biodiversity net gain on each site, but our average biodiversity net gain across all of our sites sits at over 100% habitat (over 10 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 just 1-4 years.

Are solar panels recyclable?

Certainly. Up to 99% of materials used on a solar farm are currently 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 farms provide valuable income for farmers, ensuring they have financial security through difficult times, ensuring long term food production on farms which may not otherwise be able to operate. Likewise, with ongoing pastoral farming undisturbed, food continues to be produced for the UK market, ensuring food security in the UK.

How did JBM start?

JBM was founded in 2012, with wildlife and community benefits at the heart of our mission. We were recently acquired by the RWE Group, ensuring we are able to own and operate all of the sites we develop.  To find out more please visit our website here.

Where do JBM operate?

JBM operate across the UK developing solar farms and battery energy storage systems. We have over 1GW of consented solar sites, and are part of the RWE Group who provide around 15% of the UK’s electricity needs.

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.

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.

About our plans

Find out more about the proposals, benefits and have your say on the Solar Farm plans

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