Farmers urged to apply for solar panel funding

Farmers have been urged to make immediate applications for solar panel funding under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II) by an independent Offaly TD.

Deputy Carol Nolan was speaking after she questioned the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, on the number of farmers that have currently availed of solar grants in counties Laois and Offaly in respect of installing solar panels on outhouses and buildings other than domestic dwellings.

I was surprised to find in the minister’s reply that there has not been a single application for this funding from either Laois or Offaly.

She explained: “What this tells me is that more needs to be done to highlight the availability and accessibility of the scheme.”

Deputy Nolan outlined: “The new grants will be available for farmers from the next tranche of TAMS, opening on April 5.”

Under the terms of the scheme, solar PV installation grant aid in the initial pilot phase will be up to €9,300, or up to 60% of the overall cost which will be available to fund a 6kW peak solar system.

Nolan explained that the minister also indicated that the grants would be available to pig, poultry and egg-producing farmers as well.

Concluding, deputy Nolan said: “I would encourage every farmer, who even thinks they may be eligible, to apply, especially in light of the fact that TAMS II is only set to run until December 2020, making the window of opportunity very tight.”