It’s All Change For UK’s Solar Industry FIT Levels

The 1 August is a significant day for the UK solar industry, as it marks the introduction of new feed-in tariff (Fit) levels for large-scale solar PV projects.

It’s a move that has been coming since the Government launched its Fast-Track Feed-in Tariff review earlier in the year, with a view to putting a stop to what policy-makers saw was commercial organisations profiting from the subsidies that were not technically designed for them.

In many ways, today signifies the end of the UK’s solar power industry as we’ve come to know it, with solar installations over 50kW receiving a lower reduced tariff. Critics argue that the new levels will make these type of large-scale solar installations no longer financially attractive to investors, with the Government seeming to favour the smaller solar projects.

As a consequence of the rate changes, many community-backed schemes have been forced to put their proposed solar panel installations on hold – with some abandoning them altogether. Those who had received planning permission but were not fortune enough to beat the deadline had more often than not already laid out hundreds of thousands in investment costs.

Other solar investors, like Octopus Investments took a different approach, and decided to look at what could be built within the timescale to qualify for the scheme. They successfully managed to funded the installation of no less than 11 large-scale solar projects throughout the UK ahead of the August 1 fast-track feed-in tariff deadline. Their 30MW of projects were completed in partnership with Lightsource Renewable Energy.

From 1 August, new solar PV systems will be eligible for the amended tariff rates, which are:

50 kW – 150 kW Total Installed Capacity – 19.0p/kWh

150 kW – 250 kW Total Installed Capacity – 15.0p/ kWh

250 kW – 5 MW Total Installed Capacity (and stand-alone installations) – 8.5p/kWh

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