Northern Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has scrapped plans to reduce the ROC banding levels for PV up to 250kW from 4 to 1.6ROCs.

Following extensive feedback during consultation, DETI has confirmed that solar up to 50kW with an accreditation date between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016 will be eligible for 3ROCs/MWh. After that the available rate will fall to 2ROCs from 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017. Installations sized 50-250kW which are registered before 31 March 2017 will continue to receive 2ROCs/MWh.

Northern Ireland has recently seen a sharp uptake in PV capacity developed under the NIRO. As of December 2014, Northern Ireland now boasts 8,445 solar arrays with a combined capacity of over 47MW.

The last 12 months alone have seen a 642% increase in solar arrays registered as the industry jumped from 5MW to 47MW.

Respondents to DETI’s consultation expressed concerns over the future of small-scale solar in Northern Ireland which is estimated to have around 500-1,000 people employed in its solar industry.

The full response to the consultation can be viewed here.