Original Article by Sylvester Phelan on Agriland
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has given the green light for an increase to the size of solar PV systems that will qualify for grant supports on Irish farms, according to the Micro-Renewable Energy Federation (MREF).
Welcoming the news this afternoon, Wednesday, February 12, following confirmation from the Department of Agriculture on changes being made to the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) grant initiative, Pat Smith, chairman of MREF, said:
“MREF welcomes the constructive engagement we have had with the Department of Agriculture and Minister [for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael] Creed on the TAMS solar PV support scheme.”
Building on the solar element of the scheme, announced last March, the talks centered on changes necessary to help ensure that “this grant support measure is as effective as possible in supporting on-farm installations of micro-renewable energy generation”, Smith said.
With the changes now outlined on the department’s TAMS web pages, dairy, beef, and tillage farmers will get full grant support for up to 11kWp of solar PV and 6kWp of battery storage.
Smith added that, with the reference pricing in place, most farmers can secure a 40% grant on their solar PV investment, while young qualified farmers can get up to 60% in grant aid.
The chairman said more work needs to be done to ensure that all farmers, regardless of whether they have already claimed their full TAMS, can qualify for these enhanced solar PV supports.
Smith called on Minister Creed and the department to review this restriction as a matter of urgency and ensure that all farmers can avail of these enhanced grant supports.
He said there continue to be no restrictions on system sizes for solar PV installations on pig and poultry farms.
Concluding, Smith said these enhanced supports make micro-renewable generation a very good investment on most Irish farms.