Turn Your Roof into a Source of Power
Through listening to farmer’s needs, we now see solar as one of the most reliable ways to help cut energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.
We offer quality and reliable solar solutions for Irish farmers.
With our combined expertise, we’ll assess the options for your farm business, provide end-to- end support and real-time data.
Solar Energy Solutions for Irish Farmers
About IFA/ Bord Gáis Energy Rooftop Solar
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IFA Online Solar Information Meeting – What does excellent look like?
Frequently Asked Questions
Based on feedback from our members, it was clear that farmers needed a solution around renewables due to rising input costs and environmental issues. After much engagement and research, IFA and Bord Gáis Energy partnered to offer Irish farmers solar PV (photovoltaic) energy solutions. We chose to partner with Bord Gáis Energy given our long-standing relationship with them and their track record as Ireland’s largest and longest-standing energy solutions provider.
Why choose solar PV over other renewable energy sources?
We feel solar will work well for Irish farmers for several reasons:
- No planning permission is required for rooftop solar.
- The technology is now advanced enough to guarantee energy generation at a reasonable price.
- Attractive payback period between 3-7 years, although this varies depending on the size of the farm and the structure installed.
- The reduction of carbon emissions.
Is it only available to farmers?
Yes, this offering has been developed exclusively for farms and farm businesses.
Why should farmers choose IFA and Bord Gáis Energy Solar?
IFA and Bord Gáis Energy are offering an end-to-end solution developed specifically for farmers. We also guarantee support and guidance through the entire process, from assessment to installation. Ongoing customer support following the system installation is also guaranteed. This level of support, with an in-depth understanding of the uniqueness of farming and farmers’ needs, is unique to us.
- Guidance on available supports
- Expected system performance
- Payback periods
- Ongoing data analysis
- Support and advice with any technical issues
- Planning for future expansion of your system
What is the closing date to apply for the TAMS solar grant?
The first tranche closes at 23.59 on the 30th of June, 2023.
How much can I claim via TAMS?
The solar scheme will be ring-fenced with its own investment ceiling of €90,000 and is grant aided at the enhanced rate of 60%.
Can I put solar panels on my house and claim the TAMS grant?
The TAMS grant is only available for solar PV panels on farm buildings, i.e. sheds, stables, milking parlours, etc.
Can you get a grant for the battery, also?
Yes, you can get 60% for the battery, but you can only get a grant for a battery that’s half the size of your solar installation.
Are there any restrictions if I apply for the TAMS grant?
Under the current TAMS rules, you can only apply to install a solar system that generates energy equal to your previous 12-month electricity usage.
How do I find out more?
Full details on the TAMS solar grant are available here
Will solar count towards agriculture’s emissions targets?
There are no provisions to allocate for energy reductions in agriculture specifically. This is fundamentally flawed, and IFA has raised this issue repeatedly in multiple fora. Data clearly shows farmers are contributing to other sectors achieving their reduction targets, and uptake in solar on farms will be no different.
What are the advantages of solar?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source we cannot run out of, unlike other energy sources. If we have the sun, solar energy will be accessible.
- Low maintenance: Solar energy systems don’t require much maintenance, and most manufacturers offer a 25–30-year performance warranty. The inverter will generally only have a warranty lasting 10-15 years and will likely need to be replaced before your solar PV panels.
- Reduces dependency on fossil fuels: the more solar energy is used, the less we rely on fossil fuels.
- Less pollution: Solar panels do not cause damage to the environment; no greenhouse gases are omitted after installation.
- Hot water: Solar panels are a great way to generate hot water.
- Reduction in energy bills: Solar PV panels convert energy from the sun into electricity, thereby reducing the amount of electricity a building draws from the national grid and, thus, lowering electricity bills.
Do solar panels work in Ireland?
Solar PV systems generate electricity in daylight, not just sunlight, so they will still function on overcast days in Ireland.
How many years will my solar PV system work?
The lifespan of a solar system is between 25-30 years. However, the lifespan of a solar inverter may not last that long, and most inverters last between 10-15 years.
Can I make money selling electricity back to the grid?
Rooftop solar is not an additional or alternative income stream. If you decide to install rooftop solar, it should be based on the money you will save on electricity by generating your supply.
Who do I contact if I have an issue?
The solar PV system warranty will be provided directly by the manufacturer and governed by the terms and conditions set out by each equipment manufacturer. We will facilitate, on your behalf, any warranty claims and exchanges between you and the manufacturer. If you have any problems once your system has been installed, please email [email protected].
Do I need to apply for planning permission?
As of October 2022, you do not usually require planning permission for solar panel installation. Certain restrictions apply, including developments near certain aviation sites, protected structures and Architectural Conservation Areas.
Full details are available here.
Is there anything that needs to be done from a network point of view?
One of the things to consider is the maximum import capacity from the ESB into your farm. If you have single-phase or three-phase power on your farm will determine how much solar you can install. Every farm will have a transformer outside the farm, determining the most power that can go into that farm.
You must apply for specific licenses off ESB when you exceed a certain amount. We will advise you if that is necessary as part of our assessment process.
How much will I save on my electricity bill?
Each farm will be different, and the right solar PV system for your farm will depend on several variables. We will design a system that maximises your farm’s energy-saving potential, reducing your electricity bill. The amount you save will depend on the needs of your farm. Your investment will have paid off in just a few short years, especially if you obtain a grant.
How much will it cost?
There is no “out-of-the-box” quote. The cost will be determined by a number of factors unique to you and your farm. We will design an appropriate system for you, and the costs and potential payback period will vary depending on these factors.
What are the benefits of adding a battery?
Each farm will be different; for some farmers, installing a battery with your solar PV system will make sense. Solar panels generate the most energy throughout the day. If you have a consistent energy consumption profile throughout the day, your system will be designed to generate the electricity required to meet this. However, if your energy consumption profile changes throughout the day and continues at night, you may benefit from installing a battery with your solar PV system. We will guide you through making the right decision for your farm.
Does having solar mean I’ll never experience a power outage again?
No. As your solar system is connected to the grid, it needs to be shut off in a power cut so it doesn’t feed live electricity into the power lines while workers make repairs.
What type of panels do you install?
Bord Gáis Energy and Centrica’s Procurement and Responsible sourcing expertise ensure that only Tier One solar PV panels and industry-leading ancillary equipment such as inverters and batteries will be used in your solar rooftop system.
The specific panel type will depend on your preference and the sector you farm in. For example, evidence suggests that glass-on-glass panels are well suited to high-ammonia environments, which is not the case for all farms in Ireland.
How do I arrange a quote?
Is there a cost to receive a quote?
This is an investment. So, the important thing is that it works for a farmer. An assessment is needed to test whether or not it makes sense financially. Every farm is different. We look at your current consumption, the orientation of your shed space, your location, and the availability of grants.
We will carry out that assessment free of charge.