25/01/2013

New Solar Energy Support Levels Announced

New support levels for solar energy in Northern Ireland have been announced.

The new levels will come into operation on 1 April 2013 and are designed to incentivise larger solar photovoltaic stations, as well as offering higher support levels for building mounted solar projects, as opposed to ground mounted.

Photovoltaic systems convert sun light into renewable, clean energy.

New large-scale biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plants will now receive a higher support level for six months longer than previously announced.

Announcing the new levels, Energy Minister Arlene Foster said: "In response to the recent consultation on the NIRO, support for larger solar projects will be split into two new bands – building-mounted and ground-mounted. The introduction of a specific banding level for building-mounted solar projects will create opportunities for factories and warehouses to consider solar technology as a way of generating their own power requirements.

"The additional six month eligibility period for new large scale biomass CHP stations, which retains support at the current ROC level until 30 September 2015, provides certainty for investors in a technology which offers great potential in Northern Ireland."

The Minister also said existing support levels for a number of small scale technologies will remain unchanged until 1 April 2015.

She said: "It is important that support levels are reviewed to ensure value for money for the bill payer but equally, it is imperative that investors know when changes will be introduced."

(IT)

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