Solar energy producers are entitled to interest as compensation for overdue payments by LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, courts handling legal action taken by an early group of plaintiffs have ruled, energypress sources have informed.
This development adds a new factor to LAGIE’s calculations aiming to maintain a RES special account surplus and further reduce the RES-supporting supplier surcharge, a decision already reached and included as a bailout term.
LAGIE has not included interest penalties for overdue payments to producers in its calculation of the RES special account surplus. In its latest report, the operator projected a 226.8 million-euro surplus for the end of 2018.
The plaintiff investors sought interest payments for LAGIE’s delayed settlement of monthly invoices issued for solar energy output. Agreements signed between renewable energy producers and the electricity operator include clauses requiring LAGIE to pay producers interest for payment delays exceeding 20 days.
The vindication of RES investors who took early legal action is expected to encourage more producers to follow suit. Numerous RES investors, besides those already vindicated, are believed to have already filed cases against the operator for payment delays. These plaintiffs are not limited to the solar energy sub-sector but also include wind energy investors.
Also propelling investors to take action is a RES market regulation writing off payment claims over five years old. Many payment delays are now approaching this time limit.
Pundits informed energypress that the interest payments LAGIE will need to cover should reach tens of millions of euros. The pundits warned that the government’s agreement with the country’s lenders for a reduction of the RES-supporting supplier surcharge will lead to more payment delays by the operator for renewable energy production and create conditions for further interest penalty claims.