Northumberland business successfully installs largest privately owned solar PV system in the North

What is believed to be one of the North’s largest privately owned solar panel installations has taken place on Hulam Farm in the heart of Northumberland.

The farm has installed a 150kW, 460 panel Sunpower solar PV system which will achieve financial payback within six years and generate a combined revenue and savings of over £1,000,000 within 25 years. And, of course, reduce the environmental impact of using fossil fuel.

The economic viability of the system was a key driver along with the long term benefits of an annual income thorough the Government’s Feed in Tariff (FIT). Introduced in 2010, the FIT provides a payment system to commercial and domestic properties generating electricity or heat through renewable energy sources, including solar PV.

The system at Hulam Farm was installed by the North’s leading commercial Solar PV and Heat Pump specialist, Calibrate Energy.

Michael Allen, owner of Hulam Farm, was alarmed at the prospect of increasing energy bills. He also wanted long term fuel security, an end to rising energy bills and the opportunity to secure an additional income stream through the installation of the renewable energy technology.

“Installing a solar PV system on the farm was an excellent choice for us and is a perfect solution I would think for many more farmers and businesses.

Importantly, it allows businesses to become sustainable, operate in a way that is far more cost effective and significantly reduces our operating costs, and not to mention that the combined savings and income is 100% covering by our renewables loan that Calibrate organised for us,” said Michael.

“In addition, we are now much greener and the system is straight forward to run with Calibrate Energy providing very strong technical back up and support whenever we need it.”

Calibrate Energy, installers of the solar PV system, are the North’s leading commercial solar PV and heatpump specialist and the company is currently working with a range of commercial and industrial clients to realise the benefits of renewable energy.

Speaking about the install, Shane McDonald, Director at Calibrate Energy said: “Hulam Farm is a great example of how a large scale solar PV system can allow a business to become more self-reliant and make huge savings on energy costs. As we only work with commercial and industrial clients we have many comparative systems of this size and scope and they are all paying for themselves from the outset which is great for everyone involved,” added Shane.

And that certainly couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of the Hulam Farm installation where the job was fast tracked to completion in only six weeks and in particularly gruelling winter conditions. Challenges included 80% of the work delivered at height, 500m of new underground cables laid, over 3,000m of aluminium railing installed and more than 2,000 fixtures and fittings added.

“If we can deliver a quality job this extensive, in a remote location and to this timeframe, we’re confident we can deliver wherever and whatever the site,” said Shane. “It’s also excellent news that projects like Hulam Farm can do these projects with no money down through a renewables loan and are receiving significant FIT payments as it helps spread the message that this subsidy is very much available and working.

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels work by producing electricity from daylight through a process called photovoltaic streaming. These solar panels, whether they be in the home or business, with on-grid systems, have an average lifespan of 30- 40 years.

Calibrate Energy specialises in working with companies to install renewable energy solutions that deliver the optimum return on investment. The company offers a complete end to end service from initial site inspection through to the sourcing of funding and the registering of installs to receive government renewable energy subsidies.

For further information, on the services that Calibrate Energy provide call 01665 578 638 or visit


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