All the NRW licences for the scheme at Corwen have now been obtained.
We obtained planning permission in September, however, since then, the location where the turbine house at the bottom was to go has become unavailable and we have had to alter the location of the turbine house. This does not significantly affect the yield or cost of the scheme, but does mean that the planning permission needs to be re-submitted so that it accurately reflects how the scheme will be built.
From our discussion with the planning officers, there is little question that this amendment will be accepted by the planners. The only consequence is that it has meant that we do not have planning permission of the actual final design by the 31st December. This was the date that we needed to submit an application to OFGEM (“preliminary accreditation”) in order to lock into the current feed in tariff.
We have submitted an application to OFGEM with the existing planning permission. OFGEM state in their guidance that preliminary accreditation would be invalid if the “site” is different between the final application and the planning application submitted with the preliminary accreditation. OFGEM do not give examples of what constitutes “different” and leave this to individual site by site assessment.
We therefore do not know at present whether our submission for preliminary accreditation will remain valid. We have flagged this change of planning permission up with OFGEM and await their decision. If they do decide that the scheme is “different” this would mean that we would have to accept the post 31 March 2015 FIT tariff. Our calculations indicate that the scheme is still viable under the reduced tariff but the amount of community fund would have to be smaller.
The final component before we can build is to complete all the leases. We have funding from Ynni’r Fro to pay or all legal costs, and are already in detailed discussions with all landowners and we hope to get these signed, and confirmation from OFGEM on the FIT tariff, by the end of January. We will then aim to run a share offer for the construction costs during February and March.