On 9 February 2018, the Ministry of Energy (SENER), published in the Federal Official Gazette a Rulebook for Interconnecting Power Plants and Connecting Load Centers (the Rulebook), in order to meet Section 5 of the Electricity Market Guidelines,1 to access to the National Electric System.
The Rulebook sets the procedure that the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) must meet to request the interconnection of power plants and connection of load centers in different categories,2 as well as to define the process for the physical interconnection or connection to the National Transmission Network and/or General Distribution Networks, as well as for the following purposes: (i) establish the registration process, the liabilities and costs for the interconnection and connection studies; (ii) define the amounts of the financial guarantees; (iii) determine the infrastructure required for interconnecting power plants and connecting load centers; (iv) define the criteria to establish priorities, and (v) describe the actions for operating power plants and load centers.
Regarding the costs of studies for interconnecting power plants and connecting load centers, the Rulebook has updated some guidelines in comparison to the ones contained in the Criteria for the Specific Infrastructure Characteristics for the Interconnection of Power Plants and Connection of Load Centers (the Criteria), which is being replaced by the Rulebook. However, the Energy Regulatory Commission will have 30 days from the publication of the Rulebook to issue new methodologies to update the cost of the studies and applicable financial guarantees.
Finally, in the case of the requests that were in process up until the publication of the Rulebook, these will be governed by the Criteria. However, applicants may request the enforcement of the Rulebook, in which case they will maintain the progress of their prior requests and the validity of the last interconnection and connection studies.
1 The Electricity Market Guidelines are provisions that contain principles of design and operation of the Wholesale Electricity Market. 2 Category by which the applicant chooses to file their request for interconnection of power plants or connection of load centers individually or under planning process.