ESB Networks have different schemes for different sizes of solar installations.
The vast majority of commercial and industrial users have 3 phase supplies on their premises. Every premises has an MIC (maximum import capacity) which is measured in kVA (kilo volt amps). This allows the business to import a certain amount of power at any time and you are charged for the power and per kVA. A larger import capacity equates to higher standing charges.
Micro Generator NC6 Scheme 0-11kVA.
The vast majority of solar installs are completed under the NC6 scheme as they are small in size and “inform and fit”. You fit the System and then tell the ESB. Under this scheme, you don’t need a lengthy application process.
You can install an inverter up to 11kVA 3 Phase and you can install approx. 15kVA of panels behind the inverter. If the connection is single phase then the max size is 5kVA. There is no charge for the application and if you export electricity you get paid under the NC6 Micro Generator System. Currently, this is 18.5c approx. The scheme will pay out for 15 years.
Mini Generator NC7 Scheme 11-50kVA
The Mini Generation Scheme is relatively new for ESB Networks. There is an application process and the cost is €790 plus VAT. The design study, after you have been approved can take 10-14 weeks or longer.
The Mini Generation scheme is for Inverters that are 11-50kVA. Solar systems up to 70-80kVA can be installed behind this inverter. These are much bigger and more substantial schemes but they also generate a much larger amount of power for the customer and require more roof space. 5m2 per kW is roughly the power your roof can generate with solar panels.
SSG Small Scale Generation NC5/NC8
Under this scheme, larger schemes can be installed but the application process and grid regulations are much more complex. 50-200kVA MIC.
Our 4 Step Philosophy
The philosophy below is quite different to the approach that most installers take. We would welcome an opportunity to explain what makes our approach different.
Meter your energy so you get to know your energy usage as well as your business energy profile
Invest in energy efficiency measures which always have a better payback than Solar
When all of the cost-effective energy efficiency measures have been implemented – install solar
Maximise the solar install using the roof area and ESB connection as separate business opportunities. Go big.
Solar Energy FAQs
Do I get paid for exporting energy to the grid? Yes
Do I have power if there is a power outage? No
How long do solar panels last? 25/30 years
Do solar panels require maintenance? Just clean the panels once a year.
Can I get a grant?
- For a small system 6kVA – Yes
- For solar on its own – No
- As part of a package – potentially