The Micro-Renewable Energy Federation (MREF) has welcomed that solar grant applications will be prioritised for approval under the new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS 3).
On Friday (September 8), Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue announced that all eligible applications under tranche 1 of the new scheme are set to receive approval.
8,241 applications were submitted under tranche 1 of TAMS 3, which includes 10 different schemes, and these are currently undergoing “eligibility” checks.
All of the applications will then have to undergo “a thorough processing check at local office level”, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
Due to the “unprecedented level of interest in tranche 1 of TAMS 3”, it is likely that approvals will issue by scheme – and this will begin with the Solar Capital Investment Scheme.
Pat Smith, chair of MREF, said that over 750 farmers have made an application for grant support for a solar PV installation and that it was critically important that all of these applications qualify and are approved in the coming weeks.
“Any farmer who commits to a renewable investment must be encouraged and supported with their grant application being approved,” he said.
Smith said that early approval will allow installation works to proceed and ensure that those farmers can receive the full benefit of their investment in reducing their energy costs and carbon emissions going into 2024.
He added that the solar grant support scheme within TAMS will also underpin hundreds of jobs in small and medium-sized companies across the country, which will be a major boost for the regional economy.
“The new TAMS support scheme will be a significant boost for on-farm investment and the fact that over 8,000 farmers had applied across a range of investments in tranche 1 is a tremendous vote of confidence in the sector.
“The challenge that now faces Minister McConalogue and his department is to process these applications as quickly as possible to ensure that every farmer who has applied gets their project approved and installation works started,” he said.