Ofgem confirms final Q1 FIT figures and rolled over capacity

Industry regulator Ofgem has confirmed that more than 27MW of unused residential feed-in tariff capacity will be rolled over for the Q2 cap.

This afternoon Ofgem e-serve confirmed that final deployment figures for the period running 16 January to 31 March stood at 21.031MW for the sub-10kW band, leaving 27.369MW of allocated capacity unused.

Under the new feed-in tariff regime this unused capacity is applied to the next quarterly cap, running 1 April to 30 June, meaning that the Q2 cap now stands at 76.968MW.

Given that deployment under the new FIT rates has been modest at best, it is therefore highly likely that residential solar capacity will continue to rollover into later quarters.

The same cannot be said for the 50kW+ and standalone PV bands which both breached their caps in Q1, the latter of which took just over one hour for two applications to register.

The 50kW+ rooftop band had 26 pre-accredited applications complete this month and a further 32 new applicants, taking the total number of installations to 58. Total capacity deployed was 16.854MW and the cap was breached the morning of 24 March, resulting in a 10% degression to the current quarter’s rates.

With some caps breaching and others installing significantly less capacity than expected, current deployment brings back into question measures within DECC’s feed-in tariff consultation response which paves the way for a budget re-allocation.

A budget reconciliation clause was included which would “bring together any underspend and… redistribute it as deployment cap ‘top-ups’”.

While this would seemingly be focused on re-allocating another band’s capacity elsewhere (for example, taking additional unused capacity from sub-10kW and increasing the 50kW+ cap), the consultation response also discusses the possible provision of “additional support to meet our earlier deployment projections”.

DECC stated in the consultation response that it expects reconciliations to be biannual but “could be more or less frequent depending on deployment”, possibly opening the door for early intervention if deployment continues in its current trend.