On 25 January 2013, the Tribunal decided in a series of similar cases three judgments. In the judgments, the Tribunal held that combined heat and power plants and wind farms did not have to be connected to the electricity grid at the point that was literally closest, but at the closest point where such connection was technically possible.
Pursuant to Article 27(2)(d) of the Electricity Act 1998, every consumer with a connection of less than 10 MVA has a right to a standard connection at the closest point on the grid. The definition of the closest point on the grid was unclear. According to the power producers in the three cases, the closest point is literally the closest power cable with the correct voltage, with grid managers asserting that it is the point that is standardised in order to make connection to the grid technically possible. In order to reach its judgment, the Tribunal explored the legislative history of Article 27. Amendments to the law were always passed for the purposes of preserving the current system of regulated connection fees. Based on this, the Tribunal concluded that Article 27 was intended to preserve the existing connection system and that the standardised points were an inextricable part of that system. “In the Tribunal’s judgment, it may be assumed that if the legislature had intended to exclude the standardised connection points from consideration when determining the closest point, that intention would have been expressed in some way either in the text of the Act or in the explanatory notes.” The Tribunal ruled in favour of the grid managers.