Selling Surplus Solar Electricity to the Grid in Ireland

Selling Surplus Solar Electricity to the Grid in Ireland

In Ireland, you can sell surplus solar electricity generated from your solar panels back to the grid through a scheme called the “Microgeneration Support Scheme” (MSS). The MSS is designed to encourage small-scale renewable energy generation, including solar power, and allows you to receive payments for the excess electricity you generate.

Here are the key points to understand about selling surplus solar electricity to the grid in Ireland:

Microgeneration Support Scheme (MSS): The MSS was introduced by the Irish government to support small-scale renewable energy projects. It enables homeowners and businesses to generate their own electricity and sell any excess back to the grid.

Eligibility: To participate in the MSS, you must have a microgeneration system installed, such as solar panels, with a capacity of up to 50 kilowatts. The system must meet certain technical requirements and be registered with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

Export Tariff: Under the MSS, you are entitled to an export tariff for the surplus electricity you export to the grid. The tariff represents the amount you will be paid per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity exported. The exact tariff rate is determined by the CRU and may vary over time.

Import-Export Meter: To accurately measure the electricity you generate and export, you will need an import-export meter. This meter records both the electricity you consume from the grid and the electricity you export. It is important to have a reliable and approved meter installed to ensure accurate billing.

Electricity Supplier: You will need to sign a contract with an electricity supplier that offers a MSS export tariff. It’s advisable to compare different suppliers and tariff rates to get the best possible deal. You should contact the suppliers directly to inquire about their specific requirements and application process.

Billing and Payment: The electricity supplier will provide you with regular bills and payments for the electricity you export. The payment is typically based on the difference between the electricity you import from the grid and the electricity you export.

System Size Limit: The MSS has a system size limit of 50 kilowatts. If your solar system exceeds this limit, you may not be eligible for the scheme. It’s important to check the specific requirements and limitations set by the CRU and the MSS guidelines.

Registration and Compliance: To participate in the MSS, you need to register your microgeneration system with the CRU and comply with their guidelines and regulations. The CRU oversees the scheme and ensures its proper implementation.

Remember that regulations and programs can change over time, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest information from official government sources or consult with relevant energy authorities in Ireland before making any decisions.

What is the cost of installing solar panels?

The cost of installing solar panels can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the system, the quality of the panels, installation complexity, and regional variations. Here are some general considerations regarding the cost of installing solar panels:

System Size: The size of the solar panel system you install will significantly impact the cost. Larger systems with more panels will generally be more expensive than smaller systems. The size of the system you need depends on factors like your energy consumption, available roof space, and budget.

Panel Quality and Efficiency: The quality and efficiency of the solar panels also influence the cost. Higher-quality panels and those with greater efficiency tend to be more expensive. However, they may offer better long-term performance and durability, resulting in higher energy production over time.

Installation difficulty: The difficulty of the installation can affect the ultimate cost. Factors such as roof type, accessibility, and electrical wiring requirements can influence the labor and equipment needed for the installation. If your property requires additional work or modifications, it may increase the overall cost.

Inverter and Mounting Equipment: In addition to the panels themselves, you will need an inverter to convert the DC electricity produced by the panels into usable AC electricity. The cost of inverters can vary based on their capacity and features. Mounting equipment, such as racks or frames, is also necessary to securely install the panels on your roof or ground.

Government Incentives and Rebates: Government incentives and rebates can help offset the cost of installing solar panels. These incentives vary by country and region. In Ireland, for example, you may be eligible for grants and schemes like the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) Solar PV Grant or the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme, which can provide financial support.

Additional Costs: There may be additional costs associated with the installation, such as obtaining necessary permits, system design and engineering fees, electrical upgrades or modifications, and ongoing maintenance expenses. It’s important to consider these factors when budgeting for solar panel installation.

It is recommended to obtain quotes from multiple reputable solar installers to get a better understanding of the specific costs involved in your situation. They can assess your property, provide accurate cost estimates, and guide you through available financing options. Additionally, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits of solar panels, such as reduced energy bills and potential returns on investment over time.