The Feed in Tariff (FIT) for solar photovoltaic projects is guaranteed for 25 years, from the time of registering for the FIT, once the system is installed and commissioned. Currently this is 32.9p per kWh generated for projects of the scale we are proposing.
However, on 31st October the government announced it’s intention to slash this to 15.2p/kWh for any arrays installed and registered for the FIT from 12th December 2011. Any project installed at the time we were due to install would receive the 32.9p rate until 1st April 2012 and then for the remaining 24 years would receive the 15.2p rate, (plus inflation).
The consultation document refers to the possibility of a special ‘community tariff’ in the future. However, this would only be consulted on in the next consultation due out by the end of the year and there were no details on eligibility, tariff or timescales.
In light of this, we consulted our installers, Southern Solar and agreed to press ahead with a revised timetable for installation before the proposed 12th December cut-off. Full details of this are available here.
We joined Friends of the Earth in their legal challenge to the government, over the legality of the 12th December, to try to help ensure that the process for future consultations on the Feed in Tariff would be conducted in a fair manner and not replicate the disarray the government’s proposal caused within the industry. We provided a witness statement explaining how this project had been affected by the consultation and particularly the 12th December proposed cut-off. We are delighted that Friends of the Earth and their solar industry partners won and hope this won’t be overturned by the appeal process.
We will continue to work with community groups from around the country and other green organisations to press for a viable community tariff that will allow multiple site projects (which are also affected by the proposals in the consultation document), in the hope that the Leominster Community Solar project will not be one of the first and last of its type in the UK.