Pursuant to Article 14 of Electricity Market Law No. 6446 and the Regulation on Unlicensed Electricity Generation within the Electricity Market ("the Regulation") the generation facilities based on renewable energy sources up to the installed capacity of 1 MW can be established with an exemption from the obligation to obtain a pre-license, license and incorporation of a company.
The Article 7 of the Regulation states that the procedures and principles for application and assessment of surplus energy together with the format of the Connection Invitation Letter regarding the generation facilities up to 10 kW which are approved to prepare a typical project shall be set out by the Energy Market Regulatory Authority ("EMRA").
Within the scope defined above, EMRA published the text of "Draft Regarding the Procedures and Principles of Unlicensed Electricity Generation Applications and Assessment of Surplus Energy for Generation Facilities Based on Solar Power Which Are Connected from the Same Measurement Point with the Consumption Facility" ("Draft") with its announcement of 10.04.2017.
Purpose and Scope of the Draft
The Draft was prepared as per the Regulation, for the purpose of determining procedures and principles for application and assessment of surplus energy and information and documents that will be submitted for these applications and the Connection Invitation Letter's format, which will be issued with regards to generation facilities based on solar power up to the contractual power of its consumption facility's connection agreement, that are approved to prepare a typical project up to 10 kWm/10 kWe (including 10 kW) by the institution authorized by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources ("Ministry").
In other words, with the Draft the procedures and principles for electricity generation (by roof installation) via solar panels with maximum installed capacity of 10 Kw and assessment of surplus energy through giving it to the grid are determined.
It must be emphasized that the applications for generation facilities based on solar power within the scope of the Draft will be evaluated apart from the capacities allocated to generation facilities based on solar and wind power with installed capacity up to 1 MW. Therefore, these applications are out of the maximum allocated GES+RES capacities announced by the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation.
Within the scope of the Draft, the phases of connection application, principles of connection, application for connection and system use together with the generation facility starting operation are set out. Prior to our detailed explanations, a table setting out phases of application is shared below:
|Submitting Application to the Related Grid Operator1|
|Issuing the Connection Invitation Letter if a duly completed application is submitted and the conditions regarding the principles of connection are present|
|Announcement of the holders of the Connection Invitation Letter within the website of the Related Grid Operator|
Connection and System Use Following the
Receipt of the Connection Invitation Letter
|Obtaining Project Approval and Signing the Agreement on Connection|
|Completing the Procedures of Provisional Acceptance of the Generation Facility|
|Generation Facility Commencing Operation|
a. Application for Connection
The application for connection shall be made to the Related Grid Operator with the following documents:
- Connection Application Form for Unlicensed Generation,
- "Certificate of authorization" for person/persons authorized to represent the legal entity,
- Title deed or contract of lease for at least two years together with the signatory circular pertaining to the place where the generation facility will be built,
- For buildings with more than one users (such as apartments) the notarized copy of the decision from the minute book of apartment or housing estate approving the applicant to build a generation facility based on solar power,
- In case of necessity, documents required to be submitted within the scope of zoning legislation for panels that will be installed for roof installation,
- Subscription number of the consumer installation,
- Single Line Diagram including the technical specifications of the facility that will be established,
- Application sketch including coordinates,
- Declaration with respect to prohibition of operation.
b. Reviewing the application for connection
In case a duly completed application is submitted, the Related Grid Operator shall issue an affirmative connection opinion within the first 20 days of the month following the month in which the application is submitted without any further procedures apart from the exception relating to total capacity of solar power plants and the Connection Invitation Letter shall be issued. Therefore the Related Grid Operators have a duty to provide an affirmative opinion if the principles of connection are present together with a duly filled application.
The information of the applicants with a Connection Invitation Letter will be announced within the Related Grid Operator's website within the last 10 days of the month in which the connection opinion was issued. Connection Invitation Letter will become invalid if it is not received within 45 days following the date in which the announcement was made in the website.
The information of the persons which submitted unduly completed applications shall also be announced within the website as stated above in the last 10 days of the month in which the application was made.
Monitoring the announcements from the Related Grid Operator's website is important since additional notifications will not be made with regards to applications.
c. Application for Connection and System Use
As stated above the Connection Invitation Letter should be received within 45 days from the date of the publication of the announcement in the website. The project approval should be completed within 90 days from the date in which the Connection Invitation Letter was delivered to the applicant.
Therefore the applicants are required to obtain project approval for generation facilities from the Ministry or corporations authorized by the Ministry and to submit the approval document to the Related Grid Operator within 90 days. If the approval is not obtained within this period, an additional 30 days may be requested in writing from the Grid Operator.
The Connection Invitation Letter will become invalid if project approval is not obtained within the period explained above.
d. Signing the Connection Agreement
The Connection Agreement will be signed within 15 days following the application made to the Related Grid Operator afterwards completing the project approval procedure.
e. Provisional acceptance procedures
The provisional acceptance procedures are required to be completed within a year from the date of the signing the connection agreement. Otherwise the Connection Agreement will become invalid.
If there is no existing consumption facility (building), the construction permit or the document replacing the construction permit pertaining to the planned generation facility is required to be submitted prior to the provisional acceptance.
f. Commencing operation and assessment of surplus energy
The generation facility will commence operation following the completion of the provisional acceptance and System Use Agreement will be signed with the Related Grid Operator within 10 days following the application made by the owners of the facility. The procedures regarding the assessment of surplus energy will be commenced by the authorized supplier company from the date in which the System Use Agreement was signed.
Connection Principles and Multiple Applications
The connection principles are set out within Article 5 of the Draft. Accordingly:
- The installed capacity of the generation facility shall not exceed the contractual capacity within the connection agreement of the consumption facility which is associated with the application,
- A single application can be submitted as per these procedures and principles for each consumption subscription that is associated with the generation facility,
- Application cannot be submitted as per these procedures and principles for a consumption subscription associated with another unlicensed generation facility.
The generation facility that will be established within the procedures and principles set out by the Article will be connected to the distribution system from the measurement point of the related consumption facility. Applications which are not connected from the same measurement point will not be assessed within the procedures and principles regulated by the Draft.
On the other hand, to total capacity of the solar power plants which will be connected as per the connection principles cannot exceed fifty percent of total capacity of the distribution transformer which is connected with the solar power plants if the transformer is owned by the Related Grid Operator. The capacity will be up to the power of the transformer if the transformer is owned by the applicant.
The Article 6 of the Draft sets out the procedure which will be followed in case there is more than one application for a single distribution transformer:
Accordingly if there is more than one application and not enough capacity within the distribution transformer; the applicant's consumption within the last year being higher than the other applicants' consumption is sought for issuing an affirmative connection opinion. For applicants without an annual consumption, the annual consumption will be calculated by considering the average of their current monthly consumption. If only monthly consumption is present, their annual consumption will be calculated by considering this monthly consumption. For consumption points without a monthly consumption or for facilities which are under construction, the consumption of the nearest similar subscribers shall be considered for calculating their consumption. As a result of the assessment if more than one applications show same consumption results, the date of application will be considered by the Related Grid Operator.
Determining Surplus Energy, Billing and Assessment
The determining, billing and assessment of surplus energy shall be undertaken as per the Regulation on Unlicensed Electricity Generation within the Electricity Market and the Communique in relation to application of this regulation.
As stated above, applications as per this Draft shall be assessed apart from the maximum allocated GES+RES capacities announced by the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation. Accordingly, distribution companies and organized industrial site license holders are required to announce the connection capacities within the related distribution areas on the 25th of each month as per the principles and procedures set out within the Draft.
1 Related Grid Operator: It is defined as the distribution company or the organized industrial zones distribution license holder as per relevance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.