• Sophie

FIT EXTENSION: opportunity for small solar PV on buildings

The Feed in Tariff closes as the end on 31st March 2019 however for communities there is the option to get a 12-month extension to this through a simple, no obligation, pre-registration process. Local Energy Scotland think this is a great opportunity for small solar PV on buildings and we can help now with advice and funding to make an application.

Very recently we have confirmed our understanding of the ability for pre-registered community installations on non-domestic buildings to extend their FiT eligibility beyond March 2019.

The Feed in Tariff pre-registration process supports communities looking to install PV systems of 50kW or less, in two specific ways.

1. Allows a period of grace between the date of pre-registration and confirming full accreditation through an electricity supplier. This means that you can apply for pre-registration and then have 12 months to build and commission your project.

2. Community owned projects associated with buildings with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) lower than D can receive the higher rate for PV.

Full accreditation must be in place within 1 year of the date of pre-registration, and the current guidance confirms that all community projects pre-registering prior to the 31st March will be allowed this period, giving them 12 months to commission a system and still receive the January 2019 export and generation tariffs. This is a real opportunity for communities, but also an opportunity for building operators that would consider partnering with a community, to benefit from the last of the feed in tariff.

As these tariffs would then be guaranteed for 20 years and rise annually with inflation over that period, this is likely to be significantly better than developing projects without this support.

Building owners or operators could receive lower cost energy from a community installation and any eligible community organisation can pre-register their own building or any other non-domestic building, provided they plan to own the PV installation installed.

Pre-registering a building is straightforward, requiring only an eligible organisation to submit the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the building concerned, a reasonable estimate of the scale of installation and complete a short application.

Pre-registration is therefore very unlikely to be expensive to put in place, and carries with it no obligation to progress, and is therefore very low risk.

Pre-registration for the Feed in Tariff must be in place prior to the end of March 2019.

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