The Government has today released its response to the Consultation on Changes to Financial Support for Solar PV. As expected, the Government’s proposals under the consultation are to be implemented. The RO is to close across Great Britain for new solar PV generating stations of 5MW and below, and to additional capacity added to existing accredited stations where the total installed capacity remains below 5MW, from 1 April 2016.

Projects with preliminary accreditation or satisfying a significant financial investment grace period criteria (which is to be in line with the conditions for the same grace period available for RO projects above 5MW) on or before 22 July 2015 will have until 31 March 2017 to accredit under the RO.

In addition, grandfathering will be removed for projects in England and Wales with a capacity of 5MW and below if accredited from 23 July 2015 onwards. However, projects complying with the significant financial investment grace period criteria on or before 22 July 2015 will be excepted from the removal of grandfathering.

The Government intends for the proposals to come in to force on 1 April 2016.

Solar PV banding consultation

A consultation regarding the banding for solar PV in England and Wales has also been released today. The Government is proposing to revise the support band for new solar PV projects of up to 5MW capacity to 0.8 ROC support (MWh) for both building mounted and ground mounted projects, to be implemented from 1 June 2016, but this is not guaranteed for the lifetime of the 20 years support under the RO.

Projects with an accreditation date between 23 July 2015 and 31 March 2017 will be subject to the revised RO banding if they do not satisfy the significant financial investment criteria referred to above, irrespective of whether the project meets the early closure preliminary accreditation or grid delay grace period criteria.

The Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive are not carrying out corresponding banding reviews for solar PV.

The consultation will close on 27 January 2016.