BNetzA Opens First Allocation Procedure for Offshore Grid Connection Capacity

Pursuant to the recently amended Section 17d para. 3 ManyElectronics Act (EnWG) grid connection capacity for offshore wind farms is allocated by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). For the first allocation procedure, which BNetzA has just launched, the agency has exercised its right to allocate more than 6.5 GW, the national target for 2020. In line with Section 118 para. 14 BNetzA is allocating 7.7 GW. Due to unconditional grid connection commitments already made under the previous law, 1,722.7 MW will be allocated in the North and Baltic Sea.

1. Capacity Allocation Procedure

Operators of offshore wind power plants may request to participate in the capacity allocation procedure until 1 October 2014.

Following that date BNetzA will decide about participation and the need for an auction pursuant to the rules for allocation and transfer of offshore grid capacity it published in August 2014. Capacity will only be auctioned if demand by applicants that have been admitted to the procedure exceeds 1,722.7 MW or the maximum capacity that is physically available for a given grid connection (see Section 17d para. 4). Admission to the capacity allocation procedure also gives the right to take part in a possible auction.

Further information can be found at www.bundesnetzagentur.de/BK6-Aktuelles.

2. Legal Background Information

The recent revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) scaled back the national targets for offshore capacity to 6.5 GW by 2020 and 15 GW by 2030 from previously 10 GW respectively 25 GW.

In the context of the EEG reform Section 17d EnWG was also amended. BNetzA has become the competent authority to allocate grid capacity in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Maritime Shipping and Hydrography (Section 17d para. 3). In case of a shortage of capacity, Section 17d para. 4, mandates auctioning or other appropriate allocation procedures. Pursuant to Section 17d para. 5 capacity granted can be withdrawn.

Pursuant to Section 118 para. 14 BNetzA is entitled to allocate not only 6.5 GW, but 7.7 GW prior to 1 January 2018 in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Maritime Shipping and Hydrography. The transitional provision was included in the to make sure that the 6.5 GW target for 2020 will be reached in case some of the projects that have received unconditional grid connection commitments under the previous will not be implemented.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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