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For Oral Answer on : 22/02/2024
Question Number(s): 87 Question Reference(s): 8276/24
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the way his Department is encouraging and supporting farmers to put solar panels on their farm buildings to generate electricity; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS 3) provides grants to farmers to build and/or improve a specified range of farm buildings and equipment on their holdings.  The Solar Capital Investment scheme is one of the measures in TAMS, which provides support to farmers wishing to invest in renewable energy, thereby reducing their dependence on fossil fuels.  

I launched the TAMS 3 Solar Capital Investment Scheme on 22nd February 2023. The scheme has a very attractive 60% grant, and a standalone investment ceiling of €90,000 for solar panels on farms.  The popularity of this scheme is evident, as in excess of 1,400 applications were received in the first two tranches of the scheme, with the current tranche open for applications up to 12 April 2024.

Grant-aided investments under the Solar Capital Investment Scheme in TAMS 3 include Solar PV Panels and Solar PV Rechargeable Batteries.  An ‘On Farm Solar PV Survey’ must be completed and submitted with the application to quantify the holding’s electricity requirement and the planned electricity supply from the proposed development.
The electricity consumption of the dwelling house can be included on the solar survey as part of the holding for sizing the Solar PV installation. The dwelling house must be occupied by the herd owner or family member and situated on the holding.  It is not permitted to sell the electricity generated.  Only one dwelling house can be included on the Solar survey.

In a time of rising energy costs, the scheme will enable every farmer to generate their own power for their dwelling and holding, and will help to achieve a more sustainable rural economy, assisting farmers in reducing energy costs on their holdings.

Currently, grant aid for solar investments in TAMS is for farm consumption only.  However, if the applicant wishes to apply for non-TAMS support for a larger area of panels, this can be done through the SEAI.  This additional investment can be installed in tandem with the TAMS investment and is a further option for those keen to explore renewable energy generation.

I believe that the suite of TAMS schemes, including the Solar Capital Investment Scheme, is the best mechanism for ensuring that investment funding is targeted most effectively. I will also ensure that investment items and ceilings for grant aid continue to be reviewed on a regular basis.