Minister Creed said a comprehensive review of the investment items available under TAMS has been carried out by his Department. The review factored in the latest available technologies to further drive energy efficiency at farm level and reduce electricity use on farms.
The Minister added “I have listened to Irish farmers on this issue, and their enthusiasm to invest in on-farm renewable technologies. I am pleased to be responding with these new grants. The TAMS scheme is already a significant investor in improving energy efficiency on Irish farms and we keep the scheme under constant review.
“This is part of the wider drive to position Irish agriculture as a global leader in sustainability and these investments will further enhance those credentials”.
The Minister added “I have listened to Irish farmers on this issue, and their enthusiasm to invest in on-farm renewable technologies. I am pleased to be responding with these new grants. The TAMS scheme is already a significant investor in improving energy efficiency on Irish farms and we keep the scheme under constant review. Any new and emerging technologies will continue to be monitored with a view to their inclusion in future, if feasible.”
The newly announced farm grants are for solar panels that produce electricity, known as solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, and for LED lighting. According to Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, solar PV panels generate renewable electricity, reducing the electricity you currently purchase from your supplier.
The new measure will make €10m worth of grants available for the solar panels and LED lighting energy efficiencies and renewable energy technologies. Grant aid in this initial pilot phase of up to €9,300 or up to 60% of the overall cost will be available to fund a 6kWp solar system. The economics for solar PV work best when all of the electricity generated is used on the farm. Energy generated will solely be for agricultural use on the farm.
A solar PV system size for a dairy farm of approximately 5.5kWp (kilowatt ‘peak’), combined with 4.5kWh (kilowatt hour) of battery storage capacity, is envisaged. Grant aid in this initial pilot phase will be to fund a 6kWp solar system.
Costs are based on the cost of installation of a 6kWp solar system; this includes a battery which is necessary to capture the energy output, thereby making it economically viable. At this maximum size, the grant provided at the 40% TAMS II rate would be €6,200, and at 60%, it would be €9,300.
The new grants will be available for farmers in the next tranche of TAMS, opening April 5 2019.
Yes, the latest announcement extends to all farms the current TAMS grants for solar panels permanently attached to buildings used for pig, poultry, or egg production to all farming sectors.