Community scheme fast tracked to beat FITs deadline

A solar scheme planned for early next year is to be sped through to beat the looming Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) deadline.

The community scheme which said the rug was 'pulled from under it' should now be built by November thanks to the installers agreeing to fast track it.

Leominster Community Solar Co-op share offer for the first community run solar array in Herefordshire, and one of the first in the UK, was due to close December 22 after the December 12 cut-off date for new photovoltaic to receive the old FITs subsidy level of 43.3p for the next 25 years.

However installers Southern Solar, who are owned by Solar Trade Association chairman Howard Johns, committed to make the projects happen.

As a result it has been agreed the scheme will go ahead with a fast track installation, happening later this month, so it is installed before the proposed cut-off date.

If all goes well, members of the co-op will see an average 6% return on their investment and the array will be generating electricity before Christmas.

Leominster Community Solar director, Ben Whittle, said: "Despite the rug being pulled from under our feet by the government, just after launching our share issue, we are determined to make this happen.

"Getting renewable projects like this off the ground takes months of preparation and huge amounts of hard work and good will on behalf of all those involved and we don't want to see all that come to nothing in Leominster.

"We hope many more people will follow those who have already shown their wholehearted support for the project to help make this happen".

The Leominster Community Solar project will supply clean, solar electricity to the sports centre, where the array will be located, saving approximately 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year for 25 years.

Those interested in joining the scheme should go to

Luke Walsh


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