Exposed Feed-in Tariff Loophole Gets 3 Months Grace

A hidden loophole which provides UK solar project developers with the opportunity to by-pass the effects of the fast-track feed-in tariff (Fit) review will remain open for three months after the effects of the review go through.

It’s been kept under wraps since it was discovered, to prevent an anticipated rush of installations. However under sections 15 and 16 of the Feed-in Tariffs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) Order 2010 document, large-scale solar project developers can install a system over the microgeneration amount before the 1 August deadline, which will enable them to receive the higher rate of the feed-in tariff. Within the next 12 months they are eligible to install an extended capacity and this extended amount also benefits from the higher tariff rate.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed that it will consult on the escape clause until 31 August, with any changes going through from 31 October. The 'Consultation on a technical change to the rules on the treatment of extensions to installations under the GB Feed-in Tariffs scheme,' has been opened to provide an opportunity for the solar industry to express its views on the proposed treatment for extensions.

"Our intention is to make these changes in September 2011 and for changes to be effective 31 October 2011," said the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

In what is widely regarded to be something of a ground-breaking moment for the UK solar industry, large-scale solar projects that would potentially lose thousands due to the effects of the fast-track review could now end up recouping costs, thanks to the three months grace.

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