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Thursday, 9 June 2011

DECC Slashes FITs for Big Solar

DECC has today made its long awaited announcement of new Feed in Tariffs (FITs) levels of support for large scale solar and anaerobic digestion installations following the outcome of its fast track review.

DECC has stuck to its guns.

For large scale solar installations of 250kw-5MW the tariff has been slashed from 30.7p/kwh to 8.5p/kwh.

New tariffs will start from 1 August 2011 for new installations.

DECC says the fast track review looked at reducing the tariffs for large scale solar to protect the money available for small scale projects and the range of technologies supported under this scheme. The review was launched following initial evidence showing the number of large scale solar projects in the planning system to be much higher than anticipated.

From the 1st of August 2011, new entrants into the FIT scheme will receive amended tariffs as set out below:

Solar PV:
>50 kW – ≤ 150 kW Total Installed Capacity (TIC) - 19.0p/ kWh
>150 kW – ≤ 250 kW TIC - 15.0p/ kWh
250 kW – 5 MW TIC and stand-alone installations - 8.5p/ kWh

Anaerobic digestion:
≤ 250 kW - 14.0p/ kWh
>250 kW – ≤ 500 kW - 13.0p/ kWh

The fast track review showed that the number of planned larger PV projects is much higher than originally expected.  Without urgent action, the scheme would have been overwhelmed within a very short period of time. Every 5 MW large scale solar scheme would incur a cost of approximately £1.3 million per year, which means that 20 such schemes would incur an annual cost of around £26 million, money that could support PV installations for over 25,000 households.”

Solar schemes under 50kW are unaffected by this review.

So that’s the news. There will no doubt be plenty of comment in the environmental and industry press in the days to come - here is some already from the Guardian.

The main question being – what will this mean for the development of big solar farms in the UK?

Here is a link to my earlier posts on solar.

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