Moving your solar-powered business? Take the sunshine-tariff with you

Solar power roofBusinesses and factories will be able to take their solar panels with them when they relocate -allowing them to continue to benefit from lower bills – under proposed changes planned by government.

In a  new consultation launched by the Department of Energy (DECC) the government is seeking views on removing a barrier for building-mounted solar PV by allowing medium and large installations to be moved between buildings without loss of Feed in Tariff payments.

With an estimated 250,000 hectares of south facing commercial rooftops – the equivalent of 350,000 football pitches – there is massive potential in the UK to turn our buildings into power stations, helping to cut energy bills, reduce pressure on the grid and create jobs.

Junior Energy Minister Amber Rudd explained: “Around 900 businesses already use solar PV – but I want to see more generating their own electricity. There’s potential for significant growth in this area so it’s vital that we remove the barriers which prevent businesses from benefiting.

“If there’s more rooftop solar we’ll see job creation as well as helping us deliver the clean, reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers.”

“At the moment if a FIT accredited installation is moved it becomes ineligible for further support. This can act as a significant deterrent to landlords and tenants who cannot guarantee to have the long-term ownership or lease of a building.

“Allowing the panels and the tariff to move with their owner will increase flexibility and make solar PV a much more attractive investment.”

A spokesman for the Solar Trade Association commented: “In order to secure financing and reduce investment risk, it is so important for businesses to be eligible to take their solar installations with them if they move.

Over a year ago, the Solar Trade Association identified this as one of the major barriers to more solar PV on big rooftops – it is great that DECC is now consulting on this key issue.”

The Government’s consultation and closes on 5 January 2015.

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