Preliminary accreditation under the Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme is a mechanism which allows prospective generators to obtain an assurance that they will be accredited, and of the tariff rate they will receive, before they commission their eligible installation. This assurance has a set validity period which varies depending on the technology, namely six months for solar PV, twelve months for wind and anaerobic digestion and two years for hydro projects. If the renewables installation is commissioned and applies for full accreditation within the relevant validity period, the installation will be entitled to receive the FiT tariff available either: (i) on the date the application for preliminary accreditation is received by Ofgem (i) or if the application is submitted between 1st January and 31st March, 1st April of that year. In order to be eligible for preliminary accreditation you must have (i) planning consent (ii) a signed and accepted grid connection offer and (iii) the relevant licensing and consents (for hydro projects only).
It is thought that the current tariffs could reduce by as much as 20% in April next year due to the FiT Degression Mechanism and as such there has been a large influx of developers applying for preliminary accreditation this winter. If you have a pipeline renewables project and are hoping to qualify for the current FiT, you must submit your application for preliminary accreditation and have your application acknowledged by industry regulator, Ofgem before 31st December 2013.
For more information on the FiTs and on preliminary accreditation, please contact the Turcan Connell Renewables Team.