Firms seeking to make last-minute online applications for solar systems under the current feed-in tariff have been given even less time to act due to online registration portals closing early today.
A message displayed on Ofgem’s Renewables and CHP Register claims the register will be unavailable between 5-10pm to allow the regulator to process the large volume of applications for FIT Preliminary Accreditation (PA).
However a spokesperson for Ofgem told Solar Power Portal that the shutdown would instead be between 6pm and midnight, adding more confusion for those hoping to register their projects under the current FIT rate.
At the time of writing, the correct period has yet to be confirmed however Ofgem is advising applicants to submit their projects during normal office hours of before 5pm.
A spokesperson has now confirmed the shutdown will commence at 5pm, although it is not expected to last the full five hour period. After 5pm, applicants are advised to email Ofgem to receive instructions for submitting an application outside of normal office hours.
He also added: "This won’t affect all applicants. The changes won’t affect any solar or wind installations less than 50KW and there will be alternative methods of submitting forms right up until midnight."
The action has been taken following the increased activity in October 2015 when PA closed last time. Ofgem says it received well over 1,500 applications in the preceding month and is hoping the shutdown period today will allow it to deal with applications at a faster pace.
It has also suggested that applicants may wish to progress their projects before PA is granted in order to ensure that the installation is commissioned within the validity period.
This is a developing story with more information to follow.