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This document sets out the government response to the proposals for supporting community energy projects under the Feed-in-Tariff scheme. Government has decided to introduce from 1 April 2015 (subject to Parliament) new measures to to enhance support for community projects including:
- Extending the definition of “community organisation” to include registered charities and the wholly owned subsidiaries of such organisations
- Introduce an additional exemption to the site rule in the FIT scheme to allow two community projects (or one community project and one commercial one), each up to 5MW, to share a single grid connection and receive separate FITs tariffs
- Extending the preliminary accreditation validity periods for community projects by six months for all technologies
After careful consideration, the government has decided not to take forward the proposals to increase the maximum capacity ceiling for community projects under the FITs scheme from 5MW to 10MW or to change its current policy on allowing FITs to be combined with grants.
The Community Energy Strategy set out the main barriers to community energy activity and the actions that needed to be taken to help realise the potential of community energy. This consultation takes forward two actions in relation to renewable electricity generation under the Feed-in Tariffs Scheme. The consultation is made up of the following parts:
Part A: Introduction and estimates of deployment – This sets out background information that is relevant to both parts B and C. It explains the importance of community energy, and sets out the current financial support, costs, and interdependencies. It seeks views on DECC analysis of current community renewable electricity deployment and future potential, plus the impact of the proposed actions on deployment;
Part B: Increasing the maximum specified capacity ceiling for community projects from 5MW to 10MW – This seeks views on proposals to use the Energy Act 2013 power to increase the maximum capacity for community energy projects from 5MW to 10MW under the FIT scheme. It also includes consideration of the definition of “community organisation”;
Part C: Combining Feed-in tariffs and grants. This seeks views on proposals to expand the definition of permitted grants for reasonable additional costs that can be combined with FITs payments for community energy projects up to 5MW.