Selling Surplus Solar Electricity to the Grid in Ireland

The “Micro-generation Support Scheme” Export Payments

Selling surplus solar energy to the grid is a great way to earn extra income from your solar panels. What could be better than getting a cheque, rather than a bill, from your electricity supplier? The Irish government announced in January 2021 that solar panel owners will be paid for their surplus solar energy from this summer. This is similar to the feed-in tariff scheme that was available here previously. So read on and watch the video below to learn how you can earn money by selling your surplus solar energy to the grid in Ireland…

Selling Your Solar Electricity to the Grid in Ireland. Electricity Supplier Pays YOU!

What We Know About the Export Payment So Far

The export payment should start in July 2021. Homeowners, businesses, farmers, and nonprofits will all be able to participate. The plan is for the scheme to have two main parts:

1: Smart Export Guarantee

  • The Smart Export Guarantee will be available to everybody, no matter when your solar panels were installed
  • Based on the market value of the electricity you export to the grid
  • Paid to you by your electricity supplier
  • No cap on the amount of electricity you can sell

2: Clean Export Premium Tariff

  • Only for solar panel systems installed after June 2021
  • This will be a bonus payment on top of the smart export guarantee
  • To be funded through the public service obligation (PSO) levy
  • Payments are capped at 30% of the electricity you generate
  • Maximum system size of 50kW

Can I get the solar panel grant now and also sell power to the grid in the future?

Yes. You can get a grant of up to €3,000 by installing solar panels now. You will then have your solar panels in place and be ready to sell surplus electricity from July under the Smart Export Guarantee. However, the SEAI grant scheme will likely end this summer. So, if you want to take advantage of the SEAI solar panel grant and the export payment then make sure to do it soon! Enter your Eircode below to get started:

I’m thinking of getting solar panels. Should the possibility of future export payments affect the system design?

Yes. There are several inexpensive tweaks that you can make to the design of your solar PV system that will make you much better prepared for the smart export guarantee.

One option is to add a few extra panels, making your installation a little bit bigger than what you would otherwise go for. Adding a little extra capacity doesn’t cost much, and it will serve you well for your own consumption as well as the export payment.

Another option is to install an extra-large inverter. Once again, going up a couple of sizes in your inverter costs relatively little. An extra large inverter gives you flexibility to simply “plug in” more solar panels at a later time. Give this option special consideration if you have lots of roof space available for solar panels.

Finally, the export payment makes the option of installing solar panels without battery storage much more attractive. This is because selling surplus power to the grid may be a good alternative to storing it. On the other hand, you should still consider installing a hybrid inverter. A “hybrid” inverter is compatible with battery storage, giving you the flexibility to install a battery at a later date if ever you want to.

Electric grid wires belonging to the utility company
You can get paid for surplus solar electricity from July 2021

Be Ready for Export Payments With a Smart Meter

Smart meters will be used to measure the surplus electricity that you export to the grid. So, now is the time to think about getting your smart meter. Fortunately, there’s no charge for smart meters. Just call ESB Networks on 01 698 5005 as ask to be prioritized for your smart meter installation. Everybody will be getting a smart meter sooner or later, but customers with solar panels can request to be sent to the top of the queue.

Compare Solar Panel Quotes From Ireland’s Best Installers

Now is the time to install solar, so you can take advantage of the €3,000 grant and the export payment. Enter your eircode below to get 3 solar panel quotes today!

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