Top things to consider when planning for solar farms from SafeSite Facilities

With rural theft costs in 2020 being estimated at £43.3m, the developers and owners of solar farms across the UK are right to be considering the best ways to protect their property, both during construction and ongoing.

Planning applications for at least 300 solar farms have already been submitted, and at least another 600 are expected this year even prior to the government’s recent emphasis on sustainable energy sources, so it looks like criminal damage and theft figures could be set to rise further. To counter this, many landowners are turning to stiffer security measures to keep their assets safe.

Solar farmsWith an eye on efficiency and need to be thoughtful about capital expenditure, having access to reliable advice can help you to strike the balance between appropriate security considerations and spend.


Here, SafeSite Facilities shares some guidance for when you are considering your options on solar farms.


  • Adequate levels of security

    • There are two main considerations when protecting a solar farm - taking effective steps to minimise the likelihood of incidents from happening, and recording any that do occur.
    • CCTV keeps a watching eye on areas that will have low daily footfall, with connected remote monitoring to provide active presence and raise any necessary alarms. Footage from CCTV can be used to provide evidence as needed, and so image quality is a consideration.
    • In addition, perimeter fencing is key in keeping what is on the land - i.e. the solar equipment - safe from theft and vandalism, and also in protecting the people and animals that are using the surrounding countryside.


  • Balancing budgets

    • It’s always a desire to reduce capital expenditure at the outset, but there is a lot of truth in ‘buy cheap, buy twice’. Not least of all in that cheaper outlets not only have inferior products but also lack experience in offering advice.
    • Viewing security as an investment rather than a cost can pay off in many ways, including keeping insurance premiums at an affordable rate, reducing downtime due to theft or vandalism and, of course, principally in ensuring safety.


  • Long-lasting solutions

    • A security solution that is built for purpose should be long lasting.
    • Reliance on cable ties instead of tamper-proof fixings, low quality CCTV cameras that don’t deliver clarity, floodlights that trigger local upsets – just some of the false economies you can make that need replacing further down the line.


  • Experience pays off

    • Not only in product selection, but also in understanding the potential limitations of a site and its access. Your security advisor should insist on a site visit to ensure that deliveries can be made, and that they won’t cause unnecessary disruption to local people or areas.
    • A potential flash point can come at installation, when any local objectors might become present. Knowing that your installers will respond appropriately and not inflame a situation is critical.


  • Aesthetic choices

    • Something that is sympathetic to the environment, particularly if there has been local opposition, can soften the impact, as can making sustainable choices.
    • With something like fencing, there are many choices. From timber posts to mesh, palisade to barbed wire. It is important to take advice on the impact of the choice beyond budget. You are looking to get a long-lasting solution which can withstand the environment.


SafeSite Facilities has more advice on their website if you wanted to do further research before making a choice about how to go about securing your solar farm.