DECC has confirmed that there will be a further year-long grace period for large scale solar PV projects which fail to be accredited under the Renewables Obligation (RO) by 31 March 2015. In addition to the previously announced grace period for projects which are considered to have made a “significant financial commitment” before 13 May 2014, there will be a further opportunity for those projects which only fail to be accredited by 31 March 2015 for lack of a grid connection.
DECC’s announcement came in a response to a consultation that ran from 2 to 24 October 2014 and followed on the 13 May 2014 consultation on early closure of the RO to large scale solar PV (see our earlier post). The key difference from what was proposed in the 2 October consultation document in relation to the proposed grid connection grace period is that it will now run for a full year, like the grace period for “significant financial commitment” projects, rather than just three months – giving those projects that meet the relevant criteria until 31 March 2016 to achieve accreditation.
Alongside the response to consultation, DECC has published a draft of the statutory instrument that it proposes to lay before Parliament in the New Year to amend the existing RO Closure Order. This makes it possible to see exactly how DECC envisages eligibility for both grace periods working.