Rush To Install Solar Panels

Islanders have been working around the clock to get solar panels installed before the December 12th deadline for the best feed-in tariff rates.

Now that date has passed, the amount earned has dropped from 43p to 21p for each kilowatt generated and another cut is on the cards in April.

The Government say the tariff was unaffordable at the previous level and argues the cost of photovoltaic panels have fallen since the scheme was launched.

Jason Hicks, of Paradise Power Solutions has been overseeing installations in Scilly from South Australia where he now lives.

He says they’ve pulled out the stops to get systems in on time and have installed 54 panels in a single day on St Martin’s.

Jason says some installations have proved a challenge, particularly with the steep slate roofs found here.

And he says panels are in short supply although they’ve managed to source units from Germany, Italy and China. The real shortage is in the racking which attaches the panels to the roof.

Retrospective planning permission will be needed for some installations but Jason says the process has been changed recently and there’s more flexibility for islanders who want to install solar panels.