Following the 2B consultation DECC have announced some additional changes to the FiT scheme.
Most of these changes are to be implemented from 1st December 2012 (subject to parliamentary approval) with a few exceptions.
Solar PV and wind systems over 50kW DNC and all AD and hydro installations will be able to benefit from a preliminary accreditation process. To be eligible, proposed installations must have planning approval and evidence of acceptance of a firm grid connection offer, if needed, and hydro installations must have any necessary environmental approvals.
The system will provide a tariff guarantee for a fixed period of six months to two years depending on the technology.
PV – six months
AD – one year
wind – one year
hydro – two years
Tariff lifetimes will still apply from the installation’s commissioning date.
Community solar PV systems of up to 50kW DNC can also use the preliminary accreditation process. These are defined as those companies registered as a community interest company (CIC) on the Companies House register, or co-operatives or
community benefit societies registered on the FSA Mutuals Public Register, who will be able to provide their incorporation/registration certificate. Any community company must have no more than 50 employees. All tariffs for community projects will be identical to non-community tariffs. Non-domestic community buildings will not be required
to have an EPC of ‘D’ or higher (as is required for other properties) but they must provide a current EPC when registering.
The exemption from the need for an EPC ‘D’ will be extended to schools and sixth form/colleges even where these do not meet the other conditions for being recognised as a community building.
Micro-hydro – which has been handled via ROO-FIT on a transitional basis so far due to lack of MCS coverage of this technology – will be managed under ROO-FIT on a permanent basis.
Non PV systems will be subject to a tariff degression mechanism from April 2014 with a baseline 5% drop per year. This will be adjusted based on deployment levels in the previous 12 months. The maximum degression level could be 20%.
Some further clarification of definitions is also included that are very important.
- “site” to prevent abuse of the scheme and to ensure that installations that necessarily share network connections, e.g. park homes and remote hydro installations, can access FITs on an individual basis;
- “commissioned” to clarify that installations have to be operating in order to be eligible to claim FITs;
- “hydro generating station” to include small tidal projects such as tidal mills and tidal locks that use a mixture of fluvial and tidal power;
I think those are most of the main points. Some of the detail will obviously need more careful reading and interpretation.