Homes, businesses and Farms are set to be among those who will benefit from a new Micro-generation Support Scheme (MSS) that has been launched by Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan.
The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications says that the scheme will provide a “range of supports” to assist homes and businesses to develop renewable generation for self-consumption.
The scheme introduces payments to micro-generators for exported electricity for the first time, the department noted.
“It creates opportunities for domestic, community, farming and small commercial customers to take the first steps towards investment in renewable technologies, which can play a role in shaping electricity demand and decarbonising homes and businesses.”
“The government is developing a framework of supports – to enable homes, businesses, farms and communities to install renewable generation for their own consumption and receive a payment for any residual electricity they export to the grid,” he explained.
The minister continued: “Micro-generation has an important role to play in empowering and driving engagement and participation.
The MSS is targeting support for 380MW of installed micro-generation capacity, to contribute to the target of up to 2.5GW of solar renewables under the Climate Action Plan. Depending on panel size, that equates to over 1 million solar panels, on approximately 70,000 buildings.
Farm buildings come under non-domestic applications (i.e. not dwelling houses). These applications will be eligible to receive the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) tariff, for any exported electricity, at a “competitive market rate” from their electricity supplier.
Projects between 6kW and 50kW will receive a Clean Export Premium (CEP) tariff per kWh (kilowatt-hour) exported, for a period of 15 years, from their electricity supplier.
The CEP will be €0.135/kWh in 2022, which is higher than the current average wholesale electricity price.
Any difference between the CEP tariff and wholesale electricity prices will be supported by the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy. Exported volumes of electricity eligible for the CEP tariff will be capped at 80% of generation capacity in order to incentivise self-consumption.
It is expected that the Clean Export Premium (CEP) will commence in the third quarter of 2022, when a payment mechanism will be determined by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
Businesses; farms; and community buildings such as schools, and sports clubs, generating up to 5.9kW, will be eligible for a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) grant at the same levels as domestic applications. This specific grant will be available later in 2022.
For domestic applicants, homeowners will also be eligible to receive a CEG tariff, for any exported electricity, at a competitive market rate from their electricity supplier.
Home-owners will continue to be able to apply to the SEAI for a grant. In 2022, the grants will be at the same level per kW as the current SEAI solar PV grant scheme (maximum €2,400).
The below table summarises the payments under the new MSS: