Solar Capital Investment Scheme
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. announced the opening of applications for solar panels under new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS 3). TAMS provides funding for capital investments on farms and will be in place for five years with a budget of €370m.
In order to encourage the purchase of solar investments thereby reducing dependence on fossil energy by farmers, the solar scheme will be ring fenced with its own investment ceiling of €90,000 and will be grant aided at the enhanced rate of 60%.
Minister of State Hackett said:
“Many farmers already have on-farm solar panels and have seen the benefits of them especially given the increase in energy costs in recent months. The Solar Capital Investment Scheme now offers the opportunity for even more farmers to install solar PV on their rooftops and reap the benefits. This continues our approach to encouraging farmers become more sustainable and assisting them to do so. I would encourage farmers across the country to look at this scheme and see if they can benefit.”
Commenting on the Solar Capital Investment Scheme (SCIS), Minister McConalogue said:
“At a time of rising energy costs, I have prioritised the introduction of the solar investments first which will be open from today Wednesday 22 February. In addition to the higher grant rates, I have also increased the size of the available investments from 11kW to 62kW. The scheme will enable every farmer to generate their own power for their dwelling and holding and will help to achieve a more sustainable rural economy, assisting farmers in reducing energy costs on their holdings.
“This is the beginning of an exciting and bright future for on-farm energy generation. I know solar TAMS will be of huge interest to farmers and I encourage everyone to look closely at the scheme to see if it will work for them.”
Adoption of sustainable energy practices at farm level, including energy efficiency, deployment of renewables at farm level and the provision of agriculture feedstocks for renewable energy generation is a key climate pillar for the agriculture sector in:
1. Reducing energy costs on farm;
2. Reducing the carbon footprint at farm level; and
3. Contributing to the decarbonisation of the overall energy system.
Minister McConalogue said
“This separate investment ceiling for solar PV, now provides an opportunity for farmers to realise energy cost savings and also contribute to our energy security and decarbonisation nationally. I now encourage all farmers to avail of this support while also being mindful of complimentary support that may be available through the Microgeneration Support Scheme”.
While Minister Heydon commented
“This is great news for all farmers and a major boost to improving the sustainability of Irish farms. Farmers have expressed a real willingness to invest in renewable technologies and I look forward to the rollout of this really attractive solar element in TAMS being a very tangible example of that.”
Under TAMS 3 the investment ceilings have been reset which means every farmer who applied under TAMS II can also apply under TAMS 3. The investment ceiling for Solar will be increased to €90,000 per holding for the duration of the scheme. This means every eligible farmer will be able to apply for the maximum ceiling of €90,000 for SCIS along with a ceiling of €40,000 for the Low Emission Slurry Scheme (LESS) and an increased ceiling of €90,000 for all other TAMS 3 Schemes. Farmers may also include the energy demand of one dwelling house per holding in the sizing of the solar panel array, which will greatly benefit farm families during the current energy crisis.
TAMS 3 will run for five years and will include 10 schemes. It is anticipated that the first Tranche for all schemes will close on 16 June 2023. The scheme does not operate on a first come first served basis and all applications will go through a ranking and selection process after the closing date.