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Romania: Amendments to the Process for Connection to the Electricity Grid and Permitting of Renewable Energy Projects

The Romanian authorities have become increasingly focused on facilitating the development of renewable energy projects in the country, particularly given the increased need for energy independence. Therefore, the following normative acts have recently been adopted:

  • Order no. 81/2022 amending and supplementing the Regulation on the connection of users to the electricity networks of public interest;
  • Order no. 82/2022 amending and supplementing the order approving the framework content of the technical connection notices;
  • Order no. 83/2022 amending and supplementing the order for the approval of the framework content of the connection certificates;
  • Draft law1 amending and supplementing the Land Law no. 18/1991 and other normative acts.

THE ROMANIAN ENERGY REGULATORY AUTHORITY (”ANRE”) APPROVED THREE ORDERS

A package of legislation aimed at simplifying and speeding up the process of connecting new electricity generation capacity to the grid.

The provisions are intended to facilitate the process of connecting new electricity generation capacities to the grid, especially from renewable sources and clarifying certain situations arising in practice.

Among the main amendments introduced by these orders are the following:

  • Additional information to be taken into consideration when drawing up the solution studies.

The connection solutions provided in the solution studies/sheets will consider the connection of generation/consumption sites with operational limitations by means of automation equipment of the discharged power within the maximum simultaneous power approved by the grid operator.

  • Newly imposed obligation for grid operators

Grid operators are obliged to specify in the technical connection permit and the connection certificate the situations that lead to operational limitations of the discharged power.

  • Circumstances which imposed the operational limitations have been eliminated

The operational limitations which apply to the user who has opted for such a connection solution shall be cancelled if, as a result of subsequent development of the grid, the circumstances which required the limitation(s) have been removed. In such situation, the grid operator is required to update the technical connection approval or connection certificate.

  • Grid operators establish the maximum simultaneous power that can be discharged without exceeding the value requested by the user in the connection request, considering certain aspects:
  1. the installed capacities of generating units;
  2. the simultaneous operation envisaged by the user;
  3. limitation of the power output to the power demanded by the user, through the automated power output management system;
  4. the power absorbed by the receivers at the consumption and generation site and/or by the internal services of the plant; and
  5. the power losses calculated for the grid elements located between the generator and the boundary point.
  • Users can choose a specific certified designer and/or constructor to perform the reinforcement works for shortening the period for carrying out general reinforcement work

The agreement for the design and/or execution of reinforcement works may also be concluded by the grid operator with a specific certified designer and/or constructor chosen by the user, provided that the user requests this in writing from the grid operator prior to the conclusion of the connection agreement. In such case, the fees of the reinforcement works shall be paid entirely by the user through the connection fee

  • The termination of the validity of the technical connection approval and the de jure termination of the connection contract

The validity of the technical connection approval ends and the connection contract is automatically terminated if the building permit for the connection installation is not submitted to the network operator within 12 months from the date of signing the connection contract and 18 months from the date of issuing the technical connection approval;

  • New provisions in the technical connection approval concerning the costs of grid reinforcement which must be supported by other users

The grid operator shall specify the full value of the grid reinforcement works in the technical connection approval and the right of the user to receive compensation from the other users as beneficiaries of the reinforcement works. The grid operator shall also specify in the connection certificate the right of the investor to receive compensation from the other beneficiaries of the implicated works.

  • Certain category of prosumers benefiting from a well-received exception regarding necessary documentation for a new place of consumption and/or production

The prosumers, who own renewable electricity production plants with an installed capacity of 400 kW or less per consumption site, were exempted from the submitting with the grid operator a copy of the land register extract together with the connection application.

  • The power approved for consumption and/or discharge, as appropriate, is guaranteed for the duration of the life of the user installation;
  • Specification in the connection certificate of the requirements for the connection under limitation conditions of the discharged power to the approved maximum simultaneous power that can be discharged in operational limitation situations;
  • The identification codes of the measurement points are provided in the connection certificates;
  • The notion of “operational safety” is introduced considering the deletion of the term “TSO safety” from the Electricity and the Natural Gas Act no 123/2012.

AMENDMENTS TO THE LAND LAW NO. 18/1991

  • Investments in renewable energy will be made on Class III, IV and V agricultural land, i.e. poorly fertile, low productivity land up to 50 hectares
  • Permanent or temporary withdrawal from agricultural use of the land located outside the village is carried out when the construction is authorised, with payment of the corresponding fees.
  • Dual exploitation of agricultural land

According to an amendment to the normative act, the following investment objectives specific to the generation of electricity from renewable sources may be located on agricultural land of class III, IV and V quality, with the category of arable use, pasture, vineyards and orchards, as well as on those developed with land improvement works, located outside the urban area, on the basis of the building permit and the approval of permanent or temporary withdrawal from agricultural use: solar, wind, biomass, bioliquids and biogas energy production capacities, electricity storage units, transformer stations or other similar systems that may be located on agricultural land located in non-urban areas, up to a maximum of 50 ha.

For those projects related to the production of electricity from renewable sources, the area of agricultural land located outside the village (except the arable land category) may be used in a dual system for both agricultural production and the production of electricity from renewable sources. In such cases, permanent or temporary withdrawal from agricultural use may be applied only to those areas of land occupied by these investment objectives, the rest of the area remaining in agricultural use.

1 For further information you can access the following link.

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