DECC has confirmed the parameters for the transferability of building-mounted solar PV installations whilst preserving entitlements to FITs at the level which applied to the original installation.
The legislation is expected to be introduced later this year but will only apply four years after the legislation is in force. This is to give Ofgem time to put the necessary processes in place.
- The policy will only apply to building mounted solar PV installations greater than 50kW in size.
- The installations will not be required to remain the same size. If the installation increases in size, the additional capacity will be treated as an extension under the FIT legislation, and a decreases in size will result in eligibility for the same, or a lower, tariff.
- To continue to qualify for FITs, the generator must pay for a new energy performance certificate for the building the installation is being removed from, showing the energy rating of the building without the installation (except where the installation was installed after the existing energy performance certificate was issued).
Process for transfer
The installer must pay an administration fee to Ofgem and notify them that it is moving the installation. Ofgem will then approve or reject the transfer, subject to receipt of necessary information. The administration fees will be charged at cost and Ofgem is to provide details of the charging mechanism in due course. Following the transfer, an application must be made for accreditation.
The ability to transfer the location of installations will remove the need for landlords or tenants to be confident in ownership or lease of buildings for 20 years in order to receive payments for the life of the scheme. This will also provide greater certainty on investment returns and therefore may decrease the cost, and increase the availability, of credit. Due to this reduced risk, there is definitively scope for the deployment of industrial and commercial building rooftop solar PV to increase.