Small-scale PV investors must unite to skip network saturation obstacles

Energy authorities are working on resolving network access problems encountered by small-scale PV investors as a result of saturation issues and appear headed towards promoting joint applications by investors that would avoid distribution network operator restrictions.

Small-scale PV investors, because of their limited size, are currently forced to design solar energy parks for network access through distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s distribution network, not transmission networks controlled by IPTO, whose transmission networks, in most cases, are not saturated but demand higher capacities for connection eligibility.

The saturation problem of distribution networks concerns many parts of the country. In many cases, these saturated networks cannot be upgraded for capacity increases.

Some small-scale PV investors are already opting to team up and avoid the distribution network limitations imposed by DEDDIE. However, reaching consensus for a joint plan can be challenging.

The energy ministry is currently engaged in talks with DEDDIE/HEDNO, IPTO and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, officials, a leading ministry official has informed.

“We want to clear the way for interested parties currently being blocked by DEDDIE as a result of the saturated networks,” the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou told a forum staged by SEF, the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies. “We’re thinking, for example, of bringing together many PV projects which, at present, cannot be connected to DEDDIE’s network as a result of saturation, for one united application to IPTO.”