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New version of EU electricity network code considers exemptions

25 Jan 2012 18:37:28 | edem

European transmission system operators (TSOs) will need to regularly assess generation units' compliance with the network codes, but units could also apply for an exemption from rules governing electricity grid connection. The changes come in the new draft for a network code prepared by the European Network of TSOs for Electricity (ENTSO-E), published on Tuesday.

The draft document is now under consultation, and stakeholders will have until 20 March to submit their opinions, ENTSO-E said in a statement on Tuesday.

The network code states generators' requirements in relation to grid connection. It divides plants in several categories, as each category has its own requirements. These range from basic requirements to ensure generation during critical events and minimising losses up to a "wider level of automated dynamic response", to any event endangering generation. Offshore units and pump-storage units have specific requirements to comply with, which are more extensive compared with other plants, the document states.

The network code also introduces the possibility of applying for a derogation from some of the network code requirements. Both generators and TSOs can ask to be exempted from the provisions on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis, assessing the reasons why the exemption would be required.

However, the final decision should be made by the national regulator.

Next steps

The draft code will be amended according to responses received by stakeholders and the final version will then be submitted to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) by the end of June, ENTSO-E said in a statement.

After that, ACER has three months to approve the code. In that case, the agency will advise the Commission to start the comitology process to make the network code binding. Otherwise, the code will be sent back to ENTSO-E for amendments.

A "pilot version" of the network code was unveiled by ENTSO-E last November (see EDEM 3 November 2011). This took into account amendments requested by ACER and stakeholders responding to a previous consultation on the same topic (see EDEM 12 July 2011).

At that time, ENTSO-E anticipated that further work on the code could result in a new draft for consultation. MM

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