When people think about solar farm security, they sometimes underestimate the need to understand the industry and the threats. Installing CCTV as an afterthought without acknowledging the threats and the motivation for such threats can be a costly mistake. Those operating professionally in the security industry would understand this is not the best approach. There is much more to securing solar farms.
Firstly, we need to understand the risks that solar farms and renewable energy are exposed to. Some may not be as apparent as others.
Theft is one of the biggest concerns to solar farm operators and owners. There are many reasons for theft, although theft of solar panels and cables are the most common. Theft continues to be on the rise and affects every industry. Cable and metal theft have always caused concern, and this includes cables from solar farms. This is the reason for a new approach to solar farm security.
We have heard of and come across numerous incidents of criminal damage, and the solar industry is no different. Due to the isolation and lack of security measures, solar farms are prone to criminal damage. Criminal damage can be disheartening and costly for owners. Whether teenagers looking for some fun through to more planned attempts at criminal damage, the results can cause considerable stress and unplanned outage.
It is not uncommon for residents and protest groups to be against solar farms. Despite solar farms being green energy, the placement of some farms causes anger and adverse reactions. The main reasons why plans for solar farms come under such scrutiny are the potential damage to the area and the destruction of wildlife habitats. Even localised protests can cause issues for solar farms, including those still under development. Sometimes, simple protests can evolve into more severe security concerns, including criminal damage, verbal and physical threats, and theft.
Once we understand the risks to solar farming, we can start looking at the most beneficial security solutions. An intelligent approach to security is always preferred, ensuring that a security strategy is in place instead of merely installing some cameras on site. Knowledge and identification of every threat needs to be understood and how such threats pose a risk. We can then identify potential solutions to mitigate such threats.
Before any recommendations for solar farm security, a site security survey and threat assessment should be completed. This allows for in-depth analysis and assessment of the solar farm. This includes assessing current security measures and identifying vulnerabilities. If vulnerabilities are found, then we can find an appropriate security solution to mitigate that vulnerability. We always recommend a security survey and vulnerability assessment regardless of whether the site is new or current.
We understand the importance of intelligence-led security solutions. Our intelligence capability is an essential factor in our security provision and can assist any client. Knowing the threat is sometimes not enough, so we aim to understand what fuels the fire behind any threat. This can be achieved through social media investigations into protest groups through mapping incidents of theft and damage on our cutting edge intelligence platform. Our intelligence solutions form the basis of any of our security-based solutions.
By understanding our clients, the threats, and the environment, we have designed and built a range of innovative CCTV systems to meet any need. Using state of the art cameras, alarm technology, and mobile connectivity, we have designed a CCTV system for all environments. All camera systems can be deployed quickly with limited technical knowledge and can be monitored immediately.
Our Physical Security Operations Centre (PSOC) is at the centre of our operational services. This hub is one of the leading monitoring and command centres in the UK and Europe. The PSOC has many functions centred around protecting people, assets and locations, supported by a range of physical security services.
As stated earlier, we have to look at solar farm security as a complete strategy. This means overlapping security measures. If any one measure isn’t suitable or fails, then this could make the site vulnerable. This is why encourage a holistic approach, which includes mobile response. If you are a national solar farm operator, it pays dividends only to have one point of contact for your security needs. This includes mobile response services across the UK.
We aim to simplify the entire security solution by using one point of contact for every service. Our network of mobile response vehicles ensure a quick and efficient security presence when needed. Our PSOC control staff can observe the situation as it unfolds and direct mobile responders on the ground. This is our profession, and we are being paid to ensure that your site and assets remain safe and secure.
A perimeter needs to be identified through the use of perimeter fencing. In addition to this, the perimeter fence must be proportional to the risk. There are many forms of perimeter fencing available, but the main problem can be the size of some solar farms. In addition to the size, solar farms need to blend into their natural environments as much as possible. Perimeter Intrusion Detection allows for suspicious activity to be identified. This includes climbing and cutting. Intrusion detection systems analyse the incoming signal and decide whether it is a false alarm or a real threat.
Many solutions can be provided to reduce or mitigate risks associated with solar farms. The primary consideration is to ensure that any security measures are relevant, effective, and cost-effective. Understanding the industry, the threats, and the solutions is vital. To ensure our clients receive the best possible service, we conduct an initial assessment and then provide recommendations and further steps. We then build on this relationship with a view of keeping your assets and locations safe and secure.