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The Irish government is urging all farms to examine the benefits of solar panel installation. In a recent statement, Minister of State for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Pippa Hackett has urged farmers to look at all the options to be eligible for assistance for solar PV installation. In this blog post, we will discuss the government’s stand, why farms are perfect for solar panels, and the available grants for solar panels on farms.

Massive potential for the installation of rooftop solar panels on farms

Solar panels have long been touted as a clean and renewable energy source, but their potential has largely been untapped. However, that could soon change. A recent study found that there is massive potential for the installation of solar panels on farms. The research found that solar panels could provide the electricity needed for an average farm. 

In addition, solar panels could also be used to power irrigation systems, reducing the need for fossil fuels. The study suggests that solar panels could have a major impact on the agricultural industry, making it more sustainable and helping reduce carbon emissions.

In recent years, solar panels have become an increasingly popular way for people to generate electricity. While solar panels are often used in residential settings, these can be used on a much larger scale. For example, many farms have large shed roofs perfect for accommodating solar panels. In addition, farms typically have open land that can be used for solar farms. These solar farms can generate a significant amount of electricity, which can then be fed into the grid.

Irish government on solar panel installation on farms

Minister Hackett was urged by Senator Paul Daly in the Seanad to sign up with the European Commission and ensure that farmers can sell excess energy back to the grid under TAMS.

Senator Daly commented on the height of energy crises and the constant emergency announcements from the European Commission to tackle the problem that throwing away energy instead of taking it back to the grid “sends out the wrong message”.

Although he was pleased with the proposed 60% TAMS grant rate, the €90,000 ceiling investment for solar installation, and farm dwellings in the program, he stressed that the “solution is in Brussels”. 

He stated, “You are from rural Ireland minister, you are as aware as I am of the vast amount of farm shed roofs and the availability that is there for solar panels. This has massive potential. As long as the excess power is being dumped instead of being fed into the grid, we are not going to have the buy in that we require. Because of the exceptional times we are in, your department needs to revisit Europe and see if there is any way around this.” (Agriland)

Although Minister Hackett acknowledged that the issue is being discussed with the European Commission, she urged farmers to consider all options to support their farms, as TAMS isn’t the sole option for farmers.

Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS)

Targeted Modernisation Schemes for Agriculture (TAMS) offer grants to farmers to construct or upgrade a specific variety of farm buildings and equipment on their farms. Seven schemes fall under TAMS:

  • Young Farmers’ Capital Investment Scheme
  • Dairy Equipment Scheme
  • The Organic Capital Investment Scheme
  • Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) Equipment Scheme
  • Pig and Poultry Investment Scheme
  • Animal Welfare, Safety, and Nutrient Storage Scheme
  • Tillage Capital Investment Scheme
  • TAMS – farm building and structures specifications
  • TAMS II Support Documents

TAMS grants to help with solar panel installation on farms

Solar panels will be granted at 60% for all eligible farmers. Solar panel application will be subject to an investment ceiling separate from €90,000. In the past, solar panels had been included with any other farm investment applied under the TAMS in one payment ceiling calculation.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has now provided TAMS grants to 161 recipients in exchange for solar farms. However, average applicants won’t have some excess electricity as the energy generated by panels is allotted for farm consumption.

“We have massive roof space out there and there is massive potential but it is not going to be achieved through the TAMS grant, because this is really there for the consumption on the farm and those are the rules attached to that. (Agriland)

“But it doesn’t stop farmers examining other options, it doesn’t stop farmers coming together maybe in a community energy setting to generate their own energy and generate incomes from that. (Agriland)

“I am happy if there is support there that my department can provide for farmers to do that. Certainly reach out and we will see what there is,” the minister said.

Other options for farmers in solar panel installation

There are additional solar panel grants for farmers such as the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) that can be used in conjunction with investment panels from TAMS.

SEAI collaborates with communities from across the nation to provide them with expertise and resources to develop their low-carbon path. Their significant initiative with Eli Lilly illustrates how communities and businesses working together can develop ambitious projects that create sustainable energy and contribute to achieving the clean energy transition in Ireland.

Solar panel installation on farms with EcoPlex

More and more farms are going solar, and there are a number of reasons why. For one thing, solar panels can help to reduce a farm’s operating costs by offsetting the cost of electricity. Additionally, solar panels can help to reduce a farm’s carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels. And, in many cases, solar panel installation can actually increase the value of a farm. 

EcoPlex is a leading solar panel installer, and we have experience working with a variety of farms. We’ll work with you to determine the best way to install solar panels on your farm, and we’ll help you take advantage of government incentives and rebates. Contact us today to learn more about how solar panels can benefit your farm.

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Solar panel grants in Ireland

Solar panels on farms in Ireland

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