Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Solar farm update. Fencing. Trenching. Lawyers…

Amazingly this is the first update of the year, and its May. This is absolutely ridiculous beyond words, but I might start getting really ranty and angry if I get drawn into it, but suffice to say that for absolutely zero justifiable reason, nothing dramatic has really happened on the site for months.

Its all due to paperwork. basically the energy company (the people connecting the farm to the grid, at vast expense, all billed 100% to me) decided that they needed a sub-lease from me to put their substation on the freeholder (farmer’s) land. This is fine. I have a lease agreed over a year ago now with the farmer. They want their substation on my leased plot. Fine. Go for it. They tell me that they will write the lease, and they have proposed a signing agreement of £1.

Yes £1.

But ok, whatever, I have basically no say in this. They write the lease, I read it, and agree and sign it within 24 hours. Then we move on. Meanwhile, unconnected to this, I get a nice diagram showing how the farm is wired:

And then…apparently the energy company are not convinced I have the right to sign a sub lease. they demand to see my lease with the freeholder. I say fine, I send it. They then claim there is no evidence the lease is valid because we didn’t register the lease with the land registry. That means I have to hire a lawyer (for the first time in my life, after 27 years of running a video games company that trades globally), to fill out some paperwork with the land registry. I do this, and it takes weeks, because the lawyers don’t believe who I am and demand identity documents ad-nauseum, despite it being a matter of legal public record that I am the director of the company.

Oh well…

Anyway, I do all of this, and they then say that they don’t believe the freeholder is who he says he is either. AFAIK this freeholder has owned the land for decades (probably generations), and lets remember at this point that there is NO DISPUTE about the terms of either lease between any party. They insist on me printing an A3 copy of a map, in color, with my signature on, and physically mailing it to them. I have to find a print shop to do it. I do this. They then want the freeholder to travel physically to a lawyer to prove his identity. There are then other complications which I won’t detail, but at every possible turn, I am delayed, ignored, then handed yet more impossible and ridiculous demands.

They charge me about £5k in “extra legal costs” associated with the pain of me not personally having recruited another lawyer. This is ridiculous, and you can only begin to imagine my rage. I make multiple angry phone calls and send a battery of very angry emails. Meanwhile, we are heading towards summer, but nobody cares, not the energy company, and certainly none of the many lawyers involved.

Unrelated, We put a fence up around the site:

I phone the energy company lawyer to complain, when I’m told some bureaucrats need to physically sign pieces of physical paper that needs to be sent by courier, which might take another week. I insist that if its not done immediately I will physically get in my car, and make a 4 hour drive to their office, pick up the paper myself and fucking drive it to the home of the person who needs to sign it, and sit on their doorstep until they do.

I think they are finally understanding what I think of this process. Of course meanwhile, we hurtled through the 1.5 degrees barrier which was the tipping point for global catastrophic climate change, and UK farmers start to warn people they cannot grow food now. Nobody seems to give a damn.

But woohoo, we have dug some trenches and put some ducting in, ready for the AC cabling that goes from the inverters to the site substation, which is MY substation, where all of the AC stuff gets wired together ready to be handed over to the DNO, who then use a transformer and step up the voltage. Here are the very rare pics of actual progress:

So yeah, there have been no updates because of all this. Words cannot express my anger, despair and frustration at this. Its absolutely insane. Do not ever, ever EVER complain to me that your energy bill is too high!

I am hoping to eventually get a DATE for when the overhead line is moved, for which I will travel to the site to witness, seeing as though it cost more than my first house. I will exhaustively take photos of this event that I have been trying to arrange for almost 3 years.

One thought on

Add Your Comment

* Indicates Required Field

Your email address will not be published.