Developers interested in submitting bids for the auction-based Contracts for Difference (CfD) might have to wait until February to submit their sealed bids due to the scheme’s appeal process.

CfD applications opened on 16 October and closed on the 30 October. As part of the application process National Grid has identified that at least one applicant was not eligible to qualify for a CfD based on the criteria supplied by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

However, the applicant or applicants have now disputed the National Grid’s decision, delaying the whole CfD process. If, after review, National Grid upholds the decision those contesting it can submit a Qualification Appeal to Ofgem, further delaying the submission of sealed bids.

DECC notes that “under a CfD allocation process with no disputes” it would have anticipated sealed bids to be submitted in December” with the final decision announced before the end of the year, and contracts awarded in January. DECC’s published timeline was based on the shortest possible timeframe for the CfDs but the department did note that potential appeals could delay the potential CfD timeline.

However, the latest development will delay the allocation of funds. The Solar Trade Association notes that if no Qualification Appeals are lodged to Ofgem, sealed bids will begin on 5-9 January, 2015. However, the STA said that it is likely that the decisions will be appealed to Ofgem. In this case the window for sealed bid submissions would fall back to 18-24 February 2015, with successful bidders not notified until 19 March, 2015.

DECC does note that the secretary of state, Ed Davey, has the power to begin the allocation process before all appeals are resolved.

Below is a table of various outcomes based on different appeal outcomes:


All Reviews Successful

At least one review unsuccessful, but no appeals

Appeals made to Ofgem

Review assessment

21st Nov – 5th Dec, 2014

21st Nov – 5th Dec, 2014

21st Nov – 5th Dec, 2014

Appeal request window


8th – 12th Dec, 2014

8th – 12th Dec, 2014

Appeals assessment



By 6th Feb, 2015 (Assumed)

Notify SoS of budget impacts

8th Dec, 2014

15th Dec, 2014

9th Feb, 2015

Auction notice

16th Dec, 2014

23rd Dec, 2014

17th Feb, 2015

Sealed bids submission

17th  – 23rd Dec , 2014

5th – 9th Jan, 2015

18th – 24th Feb, 2015

Allocation notice to SoS

16th Jan, 2015

27th Jan, 2015

12th Mar, 2015

CfD Notification

22nd Jan, 2015

2nd Feb, 2015

19th Mar, 2015

Contracts sent to successful applicants

23rd Jan – 5th Feb

3rd Feb – 16th Feb

20th Mar – 2nd Apr, 2015

Source: The Solar Trade Association/The National Grid

*Solar Power Portal has edited this article to make it clear that DECC had anticipated the possibility of appeals