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Spanish regulator sets date for publishing grid access capacities for generators

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Spain

Transmission and distribution network operators must publish detailed information on generation access capacity by 1 July 2021, removing a major barrier to granting access permits for renewable energy providers to the Spanish grid.

On 16 April 2021, the Spanish Regulator – the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) submitted to public consultation (until 30 April 2021) a proposal for a “Resolution on the detailed specifications for determining generation access capacity to the transmission network and distributions networks”.

The resolution sets out and develops the criteria and methodology for calculating access capacity to Spain’s transmission network and distribution networks as well as the parameters, percentages and ratios necessary to determine certain technical criteria in relation to grid access.

The most significant part of the resolution is that it states transmission and distribution network managers must publish information on the available access capacity at the various nodes according to the new criteria by 8:00 am (CET) on 1 July 2021.

This date is highly significant as the publication of this information should trigger the lifting of the current moratorium on granting new grid access permits, clearing the way for renewable energy and other power generators to apply for access to Spain’s transmission and distribution networks.

This reform effectively unblocks what had been a major barrier to growth in Spain’s renewable energy sector.

The CNMC’s consultation follows Spain’s Royal Decree 1183/2020 and the Spanish Regulatory Authority Circular Note 1/2020 of 29 December 2020 on access and connection to the electricity transmission and distribution grids, which entered into force on 31 December 2020 (see our previous article Reforms expected to spark significant investment in Spain’s energy sector).

The purpose of the decree is to establish a simpler, more transparent framework for energy market participants in Spain.

The reform of network access rules has been driven partly by Spain’s commitments to tackle climate change – by allowing more renewable energy to be supplied and consumed through the grid – and partly by the need to boost investment, following the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is expected that the lifting of the moratorium will prompt a rush of grid access applications from renewable energy generators and encourage major new investment in Spain’s energy market.

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