Move follows government’s decision to slash the feed-in tariff subsidy

The solar panel industry has been rocked by the cancelling of a series of multimillion-pound projects following the government’s decision to slash the feed-in tariff (FIT) subsidy paid to solar energy producers.

Housing association A2Dominion, one of the UK’s largest with 33,000 homes, told Building it was reviewing a tender for the design and installation of roof-mounted solar panels in a scheme worth up to £60m in the wake of the announcement.

The impact on the housing sector emerged as at least four local authorities scrapped their planned solar panel projects and panel installer Solar Europa abandoned plans to open regional offices in major cities over the next 25 years, which it claimed would have created thousands of jobs. The Local Government Association also wrote to energy secretary Chris Huhne, urging him to delay the cut.

David Lingeman, A2Dominion’s property services director, said: “A2Dominion had been looking to procure a supplier for a solar panels project for properties in London and the South-east. As a result of the proposed changes to the feed-in tariff scheme, we have now put this project on hold.”

He added that the plans would have helped “thousands of residents out of fuel poverty”.

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) criticised the government for failing to give ample warning to housing associations planning expensive solar projects.

CIH policy manager Sian Sankey said: “Social housing providers will have based their schemes on a continual funding regime that has been reduced and removed with too little notice.”

Among the local authorities, Leeds council halted plans to install at least 1,000 solar panels on council-owned homes, while Reading council described its £5m solar projects as “effectively scuppered”.