As Pennine Community Power was in receipt of grant funding (State Aid) towards part of the installation of our community wind turbine, our Feed in Tariff payments have been suspended by OfGem, for the last few months, until this grant funding was repaid.
This situation was contrary to the advice we received at the time of installation ie that Lottery Funding was not State Aid and that even if it was then it was below a de minimis threshold. Both pieces of advice were proved to be wrong. As a result the Directors have had no choice but to negotiate with OfGem as to how much of our grant funding would need to be repaid to the Lottery. We arrived at a figure of just over £8,800 and this money, which has been raised by issuing additional share capital to existing members, has been paid to the Lottery.
We now anticipate our FIT payments being reinstated.
Unfortunately, it is likely now that the community benefit will be slightly reduced as the income of the turbine now has to service a slightly larger share capital.
For more information on FITs and State Aid, please refer to the DECC guidance which can be downloaded as a PDF here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/48582/5282-feedin-tariffs-fits-and-grants.pdf
On a brighter note, the turbine itself is producing at or slightly above our predictions.
The Directors are also still pursuing modifications to the turbine with the manufacturer and installer to address the noise issues at very high wind speeds.