Lightsource heads to NSA Sheep NI event

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Farmers visiting next month’s NSA Sheep NI event can claim a free breakfast – courtesy of Lightsource Renewable Energy.

The first 300 people through the door of the industry showcase will be given a bacon or sausage butty, together with a cup of tea or coffee.

NSA Sheep NI is a key event for Northern Ireland’s sheep sector and will be held on July 6, at Ballymena Livestock Mart, in County Antrim.

Visitors to the Lightsource stand (number 72) will be able to find out about the opportunities that solar power provides for farmers and landowners looking to diversify their income and reduce their carbon footprint.

Lightsource has an unrivalled track record and has already secured planning permission for solar farms across more than 135 acres in Northern Ireland, a further 343 acres in planning and another 115 acres going into planning this month - representing a considerable investment into the local economy.

Rental payments are index-linked and rise annually with inflation. This guaranteed income can help sustain a rural business and forms a valuable part of succession planning for future generations.

All that’s needed is more than 30 acres of land (including brownfield) that’s not within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Small livestock, such as sheep or chickens, can also be grazed around the panels, helping drive up returns on capital invested per acre.

Lightsource provide support throughout the entire lifetime of a solar project – from design and planning through to long term operations and maintenance.

Conor McGuigan, Business Development Director at Lightsource, which has an office in Belfast and is Europe’s leading solar energy generator, said: “We aim to demonstrate that large scale solar power is a technology that is equally as important as wind within Northern Ireland’s energy mix. Furthermore, solar power is relatively cheap, and is quick to install.

“Farmers are increasingly feeling the pressure of rising costs and unpredictable weather. Everyone wants to become more self-sustained and we have proven that farmland diversification through the installation of a solar farm can do just that.

“By renting out their land to Lightsource, farmers and landowners can be guaranteed an index linked income for 25 years, rising annually with inflation. This guaranteed income can help sustain a rural business and form a valuable part of succession planning for future generations.”