Review of the impact of The Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 on UK FIT projects

By Conrad Purcell, Hannah Roberts

04-2020

The UK Government has acted quickly to pass a Statutory Instrument, The Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 (the CV-19 Order) to give small-scale renewable electricity generators additional time to apply for accreditation under the Feed-in Tariff scheme (the FIT scheme).  The CV-19 Order came into force on 31 March 2020.  The FIT scheme was a financial incentive introduced by the government in 2010, for electricity generated from small scale low-carbon sources. 

The Issue

The government identified that as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, up to 250 projects close to completion (mostly community energy installations) were facing unavoidable delays. The impact facing generators was that they would be unable to complete the construction, commission the projects and submit their application for FIT accreditation in time; for many projects the deadline was 31 March 2020. 

Amendment to the Feed-in Tariffs Order 2012 (as amended)

The CV-19 Order amends the Feed-in Tariffs Order 2012 (as amended). The amended validity periods within which a generator can apply for FIT accreditation are now as follows:

  • Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) scale community energy installations (solar PV with a declared net capacity of 50kW or less) that pre-registered between 1st-31st March 2019 will be given until 30th September 2020 to commission and apply for accreditation.
  • ROO-FIT scale community energy installations (solar PV with a declared net capacity over 50kW) that pre-registered between 1st-31st March 2019 will be given until 30th September 2020 to commission and apply for accreditation.
  • ROO-FIT scale wind and anaerobic digestion installations (with a declared net capacity over 50kW) whose preliminary accreditation validity period ends between 1st-31st March 2020 will be given 24 months, or until 30th September 2020, whichever is the later, to commission and apply for accreditation.
  • ROO-FIT scale hydro installations (with a declared net capacity over 50kW) that received preliminary accreditation between 1st-30th September 2018 will be given 36 months, or until 30th September 2020, whichever is the later to commission and apply for accreditation.

MCS / ROO-FIT 

The MCS-FIT route of accreditation is used if the installation is a wind or PV installation with a Declared Net Capacity (DNC) of 50kW or less. The FIT application should be submitted to the relevant FIT Licensee (electricity supplier); a list can be found on the Ofgem website.

The ROO-FIT route of accreditation is used if the installation is a solar photovoltaic (PV) or wind installation with a DNC of above 50kW up to a Total Installed Capacity (TIC) of 5MW, or if it is a hydro or anaerobic digestion installation up to a TIC of 5MW. The FIT application should be submitted to Ofgem using the Renewables and CHP Register.

The table sets out the position in relation to each of the project technologies affected by the CV-19 Order.