According to a judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice dated February 9, 2011 (BGH, file number VIII ZR 35/10) a higher claim to remuneration for energy fed-in from systems which are exclusively mounted on the side or the top of a building (sec. 11 (2) sentence 1 German Renewable Energies Act (EEG) 2004) is not at hand if the PV system is mounted on a steel pole which, in turn, is merely connected with a wall of the building by screws and dowels. For in that case the PV system is not exclusively mounted on the side or the top of a building. It is rather also borne by the foundations placed in the ground, in which the steel pole is embedded.
A stronger link of the steel pole with the building using crossbars does not result in the photovoltaic modules being borne exclusively and solely by the building, either. Rather, the weight of the PV systems is at least also borne by the foundations via the steel pole. Exclusive mounting, on the other hand, requires the entirety of essential components of the system to be entirely fixed on the side or the top of a building, so that the system's weight is borne by the building alone.
Neither is the requirement for a structural facility fulfilled if the PV system is mounted on two steel poles which, in turn, are interconnected by crossbars and whose crossbars are simultaneously used for affixing the roof of a shelter. The shelter itself may indeed be a structural facility within the meaning of sec. 11 (2) sentence 3 EEG 2004. However, since the shelter together with the PV systems is primarily designed for the generation of energy and not the use of a building, the PV system lacks dependency from the building: The PV system is not mounted on a building construction forming the main item in such a way that its existence depends on it. Rather, the steel poles with the crossbars and the roof as a shelter existing thereon are without meaning to the existence of the PV system. Thus, when regarded as a whole, the construction does not come within the scope of application of sec. 11 (2) sentence 3 EEG 2004.
In contrast, the requirement of exclusive mounting within the meaning of sec. 11 (2) sentence 3 EEG 2004 is fulfilled even if the steel poles as the frame of an existing PV system are subsequently integrated in a later building in such a way that the frame simultaneously becomes an indispensable component of the new building statics. For if the foundations of the steel poles are reinforced in such a way that they are statically intended to not only bear the weight of the PV systems but also the roof loads (roof of the building and snow load), then the subsequently erected overall complex constitutes a uniform building whose integral component the steel poles become.
Any facility connected with the ground, constructed from structural components and building materials has to be considered to be a structural facility within the meaning of the law. A gravelled storage area is also a structural facility in that sense. Thus, PV modules are also mounted on a structural facility in a structural-constructive way if they are spatially located above the structural facility of if they are firmly connected with the ground bearing the facility.