UK increases limits for commercial rooftop solar installations

24 March 2015 (Last Updated March 24th, 2015 18:30)

The UK has increased its limits for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations to 1MW from 500KW.

The UK has increased its limits for rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations to 1MW from 500KW.

Increment of the permitted development threshold has been allowed for commercial properties, according to UK Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles.

UK’s Renewable Energy Association CEO Nina Skorupska said: "We are delighted with today’s announcement, which will make it much easier for factories, farms, hospitals, bus stations and other commercial buildings to generate their own sustainable electricity while also saving themselves money and resources.

"Solar installed on commercial buildings has the potential to generate significant amounts of clean electricity, yet it is a considerably underdeveloped area, and the rigidity of the planning system has long been a major barrier to its progress.

"Solar installed on commercial buildings has the potential to generate significant amounts of clean electricity."

"Doubling the threshold before a full planning application is required for a solar installation is a simple but effective step, which will lift the shackles from the sector, and will help developers avoid uncertainty in terms of degression of feed-in tariff rates."

The permission is expected to allow businesses the scope for fixing up to 4,000 solar panels on rooftops. This is likely to eliminate the need for prior planning permissions for the installations under major government changes.

At present, commercial properties in the UK requires planning permissions for rooftop solar arrays having more than 50kW generation capacity, which restricts the installations to up to 200 panels, reports BusinessGreen.