Electricity networks: access and connection to its production facilities

Feb 22, 2021 | Lagares News

“Certainty and legal security” are the premises developed and strengthened on Royal Decree 1183/2020, of 29 December, on access and connection to electricity transmission and distribution networks (published in the Spanish Official Gazette or BOE), in compliance with Circular 1/2021, of 20 January by the National Competition and Markets Commission (CNMC), which sets out the access and connection methodology and conditions to the transmission and distribution networks of electrical energy production facilities.

We might as well say that the process to legally and procedurally order the deployment of renewable energy facilities located throughout Spain in the coming years has already been completed.

Royal Decree 1183/2020: main developments

The purpose of Royal Decree 1183/2020 is to set out the rules and procedure applicable to the application for and processing and granting of licenses for access and connection permits to the electricity transmission and distribution networks that will apply to producers, consumers, owners of storage facilities as well as transmission operators and distribution managers.

Moreover, since 2013 we may find Act 24/2013, of 26 December of the Electricity Sector, in which Section 33 has been awaiting regulatory development. This generally regulates access and connection to networks, and defines the concepts of right of access, right of connection, permission of access and connection permit.

The Circular regulates what the applications and permits consist of, the economic valuation, the criteria for evaluating the capacity, the reasons for denial, the minimum content of the contracts and the obligation of publicity and transparency of the information relevant to its access and connection.

In addition to this Royal Decree 1183/2020, it is interesting to highlight the following aspects in its legislation:

  • Time-based priority, taking into account the date of acceptance of the application. A ruling from the competent body for administrative authorization must be obtained in order to guarantee it has been correctly settled.
  • Expiry regime, in line with Royal Decree-Act 23/2020 of 23 June 23 for holders included in its section.
  • Intervention of the single node representative (IUN) already appointed will continue. Nevertheless, a setting period of 5 business days for communications and attention to the already made requests has been arranged. This is intended to streamline procedures and avoid a lack of response and collaboration from the IUNs.
  • As for new applications, guarantees granted before the entry into force of this Royal Decree, no matter if modified nor with addenda, are no longer valid.

Circular 1/2021: electricity network owners and managers

Regarding the single transitory provision of Circular 1/2021 on the fulfilment of obligations by owners and managers of networks, this establishes a period of no less than three months, starting from the entry into force of Royal Decree 1183 / 2020, within which said managers must comply with the obligations to publish information on the quantities ​​of available and occupied access capacity corresponding to those requests pending resolution.

Nevertheless, on the date of issuance of this note, network managers have not yet had the obligation to publish information on such capacities and, therefore, will continue declining new requests from promoters who try to reach them. Ultimately, the deadline for this mandatory publication on the corresponding platform is still up in the air.

Eugenia Pérez
Partner. Business Departament