Companies rush to switch on solar as FiT deadline looms
Green energy news – by GreenWise staff
29th July 2011
The latest large-scale solar systems have been switched on just days away from when the Government is set to cut the Feed-in Tariff (FiT).
and British Gas
flicked the switch on a 4.6 megawatt (MW) array at the car manufacturer’s Burnaston car plant in Derby this week. The 17,000 solar
panels will be capable of generating enough power to build 7,000 cars a year and is the largest installed of any car manufacturer.
Meanwhile, power began being generated from a 99.9 kilowatt system, located at animal feed supplier WE Jameson & Son Ltd in Masham, North Yorkshire, yesterday. The system, comprising of 540 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, was installed in just under four weeks by Duncan Solar to beat the cuts.
WE Jameson & Son Ltd beat the deadline for the FiT cuts by just three days. The Government announced an official reduction of tariffs for new larger scale solar PV projects beginning on August 1 following a fast-track review launched earlier this year. The cuts will see subsidies for 100 kilowatt (kW) PV installations cut by more than 40 per cent while the very biggest under the FiT scheme slashed by more than 70 per cent.
The deep cuts have prompted a number of large scale solar installations to come on stream to beat the deadline.
Beating the deadline
More than a dozen large solar projects were expected to go live this month. One of these was a 240 MWh rooftop installation at Hampshire Cosmetics
in Portsmouth, managed by Anesco.
Today, Graham Jameson, of W E Jameson & Sons, said reducing carbon based energy was a priority for the company, but it needed to beat the August 1 deadline to realise the potential of solar PV. "We knew that beating the 1st August deadline was always going to be tough, and missing it would have reduced the return from the system," he said.
The Government is trying to address a loophole in its amended FiT regulations
that means developers who have commissioned a large scale solar system before the August 1 deadline can add more panels to the system within 12 months and benefit from the current, more generous rates. This week the Department of Energy and Climate Change published a technical consultation to close the loophole. The consultation closes on August 31.
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