Network access for blocked small-scale PV producers through joint bids

An amendment enabling small-scale solar energy producers to team up and jointly apply for connections to power grid operator IPTO’s transmission network will be added to a forthcoming draft bill for environmental permits being worked on by the energy ministry.

Investors behind small-scale solar energy projects cannot currently connect to distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s network as a result of saturation.

Numerous prospective small-scale solar energy producers have faced network connection problems in most parts of the country, prompting the energy ministry to enable network access through the IPTO network, normally available for bigger RES producers.

Small-scale solar energy investors design facilities for connections to DEDDIE/HEDNO’s distribution network, not IPTO’s transmission network. However, the DEDDIE/HEDNO network is saturated in many parts of the country, and, in many cases, any potential for capacity increases has been exhausted.

The problem has been exacerbated by a flood of network connection applications submitted by small-scale RES producers in recent months.

The energy ministry is engaged in talks with DEDDIE, IPTO and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to resolve the issue, the ministry’s secretary-general recently responded to RES producer concerns.