Introduction

EU Regulation 2016/631 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on April 27 2016. It establishes a network code which defines the requirements for the grid connections of power-generating facilities with the aim of facilitating:

  • effective competition in internal electricity markets;
  • system security and the integration of renewable electricity sources; and
  • an EU-wide trade in electricity.

Network code

Network codes are technical rules that address cross-border issues to provide and manage effective and transparent access to transmission networks across EU member states. They are drafted by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, and adopted by the European Commission.

The Network Code on Requirements for Generators is applicable to new power-generating facilities. However, it does not apply to power-generating facilities that are:

  • connected to the electricity network on the date of the code's entry into force; or
  • at an advanced stage of planning but not yet completed, unless the relevant regulatory authority or EU member state decides otherwise, based on the evolution of system requirements and a full cost-benefit analysis or where there has been substantial modernisation of the generating facilities.

The network code makes a distinction between different types of generator by establishing various levels of requirements based on the voltage level at which generators are connected to the grid and their maximum generating capacity.

Compliance

The owners of eligible power-generating facility will be obliged to demonstrate to the respective system operator that they have complied with the network code's requirements through an operational notification procedure for each power-generating facility connection.

The network code also establishes that the owners of power-generating facilities will provide evidence of compliance with the code to the respective system operator throughout the lifetime of the facility. Further, the relevant system operator will assess whether power-generating facilities comply with regulation requirements and inform the facility's owner accordingly.

The new code entered into force on May 17 2016; however, its requirements will not apply until April 27 2019.

For further information on this topic please contact Pedro De Gouveia e Melo or Catarina Brito Ferreira at Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados by telephone (+351 21 381 7400) or email (pgmelo@mlgts.pt or cbferreira@mlgts.pt). The Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados website can be accessed at www.mlgts.pt.

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