BNetzA: Decision on New Procedures for Allocation and Transfer of Offshore Connection Capacity

By decision of 13 August 2014, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) determined its new procedures for future allocations and transfers of offshore grid connection capacity.

1. Background

As part of the EEG 2014 revision, the rules in the ManyElectronics Act (EnWG) for the implementation of the Offshore Grid Development were also changed. More specifically, Section 17d EnWG established a new allocation and transfer system for offshore grid connection capacity.  The new system shall ensure that the new expansion target of 6.5 GW in 2020 will actually be reached. To that end

  • BNetzA can allocate grid capacity until 31 January 2018 exceeding the 6.5 GW expansion target by up to 1.2 GW
  • Capacity shall be auctioned or allocated in another allocation procedure if there is not enough capacity for allocation or if demand by offshore wind power plants included in the Federal Offshore Plan exceeds the capacity of a commissioned grid connection;
  • The “use it or lose it – principle” has been tightened. BNetzA can withdraw capacity already 24 month before binding date for completion.

Section 17d(3) now reads (translated):

“Grid connection capacity on connecting power lines will be allocated by the Regulatory Authority in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Maritime Shipping and Hydrography in an objective, transparent and non-discriminatory procedure. The maximum capacity to be allocated, including all existing unconditional grid connection commitments, shall amount to 6.5 GW until 31 December 2020. As of 1 January 2021 allocatable capacity in the sense of sentence 2 shall rise by 800 MW annually. The Regulatory Authority can allocate grid connection capacity on condition of collateral clauses (Nebenbestimmungen) pursuant to Section 36 Administrative Procedure Act (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz). The Regulatory Authority publishes monthly the allocatable connection capacity pursuant to paragraph 2 and 3.”

Further details of the allocation procedure were to be determined by the Federal Network Agency (Sec. 17d(8)(3)).

2. Determination 13 August 2014

With its decision of 13 August, the Federal Network Agency implements the new statutory provisions. It sets the framework for future offshore grid allocation procedures.

2.1 Opening of Grid Allocation Procedures

BNetzA will starts its first allocation procedure round now that the framework has been set. For the future, BNetzA intends to open new allocation rounds 9 months after having opened the previous round, but not before the previous round will have been completed. No new allocation round will be opened if no further capacity is available on commissioned grid connection systems or if the maximum allocatable capacity has already been allocated.

The opening of the allocation procedures will be announced on the internet and in the Official Journal (Amtsblatt). In the announcement, BNetzA will provide information on allocatable capacity and the application deadline.

2.2 Admission Procedure

Applicants need to go through an admission process before they can apply for capacity.

2.3 Scarcity Assessment/Auctioning

BNetzA will carry out a scarcity assessment regarding allocatable capacity. If demand exceeds capacity, capacity shall be auctioned.

An auction will take place in two cases:

  • if the requested capacity for a grid connection exceeds admitted applications, or
  • if the sum of admitted applications for all grid connection systems exceeds 7.7 GW.

The determination contains further rules for the auctioning procedure.

2.4 Transfer of Capacity

The determination  also contains rules for the forced withdrawal and transfer of grid capacity when the capacity is not used (Sec. 17d(5)).

Source: Federal Network Agency

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