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Solar PV

Introduction

The ROCS (Renewable Obligation Certificates) scheme became available in Northern Ireland on 1st April 2010. Under this scheme, energy suppliers have to make payments to homeowners / businesses that generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as solar panels. Once you have your solar panels installed you will not only experience a reduction in your monthly electricity bill but you will also receive an income from your ROC provider!

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

  • Earn a Tax Free Income
  • Add value to your home/business
  • Avoid rising energy costs
  • Reduce your CO2 Emissions
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WHO CAN INSTALL

In order to claim the ROC payments an installation must be carried out by a MCS accredited installer. SOLAR POWER NI (BHC Distributors Ltd MCS number ARE0040) are fully accredited and will deal with the whole process from design, install, commissioning and right through to dealing with the connection of a new installation to the NIE grid.

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PLANNING PERMISSION

You do not need planning permission for residential installations. You will need planning permission for Agriculture or commercial buildings. However this should not be a major problem to obtain.

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Grant Aid

DARD currently has excellent grant funding opportunities available with 50% of costs for a solar PV panel installation covered. These grants are for farmers and rural businesses. Social community sectors receive grants of 75%. Feasibility studies must also be completed to avail of this grant. (50% of the costs for a feasibility study are also covered by a DARD grant) Find more detailed information on the grant below:

Guidance note on Funding Renewable Projects through Rural Development Programme Applications for stand-alone renewable energy projects may be deemed as eligible in the following circumstances except Anaerobic Digestors:-

  • Measure 3.1 - Farm Diversification A stand-alone renewable project can be funded at up to 50% grant aid to a maximum grant level of £50,000 providing the diversification project is for the farm owner or farm family member to become an energy producer and 100% of the output is sold to a third party eg NIE (none of the energy produced is used to increase the profitability of a farm business, increase GVA or reduce any farm home domestic running costs). Under State Aid Rules the European Commission has determined that under Axis 3 energy cannot be used to reduce the running costs of a farm business and can only be used to supplement the income of the farm family.
  • Existing Farm diversification projects wishing to use renewable technology. Renewable energy applications from farm owners or farm family members that are intended to increase the profitability and increase GVA of a farm diversification business new or existing i.e. a business free standing from the main farm business may be accepted under Measure 3.2 or, if appropriate, Measure 3.3. In these cases, the diversified business MUST be completely separate to the existing farm business and that appropriate technology is in place (eg metering) to monitor the project and verify that none of the energy produced is diverted to the farm business or the farm home domestic running costs. In other words all energy generated must either be used by the diversified business and/or sold to a third party eg NIE.

  • Electricity Pre-Requisites
    All projects MUST provide at time of application:-
    • (a) An independent* (i.e. not produced by the installer) feasibility assessment which MUST include projected outputs and have been produced within the last 2 years.
    • (b) Planning permission - Find out more
    • © NIE connection agreement quotation (G83 for under 20kW and G59 for over 20kW) confirming D Code compliance of proposed kit. If any of the above are not included then the application cannot be accepted as eligible
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Tax Incentive

Solar PV panel installations qualify under the Annual investment Allowance (AIA) scheme. Therefore whatever % tax you pay, this can be written off the total installation cost.

  • E.g. Installation cost is £10,000.
  • Tax rate is 20%.
  • 20% of £10,000 is £2,000.
  • £10,000 - £2,000 = £8,000
  • Real cost of installation is £8,000
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