Freedom to move roof-mounted solar proposed

Roof-mounted solar installations larger than 50kW may be moved  and still qualify for Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs).

A government  consultation seeking views on this proposal opened recently and will close on 5 January 2015.

This would increase the flexibility of the scheme and reduce investment risk, as at present moving a solar installation means it no longer qualifies for support.

However, transfers would only be allowed for installations whose eligibility date for FiTs is on or after the date the legislation comes into force, expected in 2015.

While the proposed change is expected mainly to affect leased commercial buildings, it could also help in some farm situations where buildings were damaged, refurbished or otherwise changed.

See also: Solar power support switches from fields to roofs

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is not proposing the flexibility for smaller installations because of the cost of moving smaller projects and of administering such changes.

Conditions would be attached to any moves. These include that the installation must remain the same size and be entitled to either the same or a lower tariff. Also, if an installation smaller than 250kW moves to a building that does not meet the energy efficiency requirement of an Energy Performance Certificate of band D or above, then it will qualify for a lower rate FiT.

If extra capacity is added during the transfer, it will be treated as an extension by Ofgem.

Installations must also continue to be classed as other-than-stand-alone.

Also, an installation would not be able to transfer location in the first five years that it is entitled to FiT payments.

Any proposed transfer must secure planning permission and have grid connection acceptance in advance of the move.

Find the consultation

To respond, contact Renewables Financial Incentives Team, Department of Energy & Climate Change, 2nd Floor Area C, 3 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW, tel: 0300 068 5404 or by email to solarpv.consultation@decc.gsi.gov.uk

 

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