For Oral Answer on : 26/10/2023
Question Number(s): 64 Question Reference(s): 47015/23
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine with reference to his Department’s PV installers registration form, to list the mandatory training courses in solar photovoltaic panel installation that are acceptable to his Department; the institutions that provide such courses; the bodies that certify these courses and the level of certification required; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Farm Safety is an absolute priority for my Department and is always given considerably thought in the design of schemes.
The new TAMS is aligned to our climate goals with enhanced support for farmers to invest in renewable energy solutions on their farms. To encourage the purchase of solar investments, thereby reducing dependence on fossil energy by farmers, the TAMS solar scheme is ring fenced with its own investment ceiling of €90,000 and grant aided at the enhanced rate of 60%.
The safety of Solar PV systems, both at installation phase and for subsequent use by applicants of the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS 3) is of paramount importance. My Department has introduced technical specification S198 – Minimum Specification for the Installation of Solar PV Systems, which cover all relevant electrical and structural standards.
My Department also requires that Safe Electric registered (qualified) electricians must undertake training courses in:
- Micro Solar Photovoltaic Systems Implementation, and
- Micro-Generators Electrical installation.
The institutions that provide such courses are Chevron Training & Recruitment Ltd. and Metac Training which are certified to QQI standard.
The level of certification is for:
- Special Purpose Award Micro Solar Photovoltaic Systems Implementation, and
- Special Purpose Award Micro-Generator Electrical Installation.
The certification is a recognised QQI Level 6 award in Education and Training for both courses. Equivalent qualifications within the EU are also acceptable.
My Department also requires that Solar PV installers must sign off on a testing and commissioning report that confirms that the system is ready for electricity generation in a safe manner in line with the latest applicable electrical standards.