Ofgem sets out process for closing Renewables Obligation subsidy to onshore wind

Ofgem has published draft guidance for generators affected by the proposed closure of the Renewables Obligation to onshore wind on 1 April 2016.

The energy regulator noted: “This is not a consultation on the policy underpinning the Renewables Obligation, but on the clarity of the guidance document.”

The draft guidance document explains how Ofgem will administer the early closure and any grace periods if the amendments to the Energy Bill 2015-6, tabled by the Government on 19 January, come into effect as planned on 1 April 2016.

Grace periods mean an onshore wind farm could still qualify for a Renewables Obligation subsidy despite not being completed before the scheme closes. They are available if a wind farm had a grid connection agreement, land rights, and planning permission in place on or before 18 June 2015. There are also grace periods available for wind farms where commissioning has been pushed back by grid connection or radar work delays, or when previously agreed finance has been suspended as a result of legislative uncertainty before the Energy Bill 2016 becomes law.

Feedback should be sent to: [email protected], or RE Development Team, Ofgem, 9 Millbank, London, SW1P 3GE, by 24 March 2016.

The guidance does not apply to Northern Ireland. The Department for Enterprise, Trade and Industry in Northern Ireland has consulted on bringing forward closure of the NIRO to onshore wind, however this proposal is still under consideration.

Read the full draft guidance: Renewables Obligation: closure of the scheme to onshore wind (England, Wales and Scotland)

Read more from the New Power archives: Amber Rudd: ‘We have enough wind farms’

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