Assessment of June cycle producer certificate bids by end of month

The assessment by RAE, the Regulatory Authority of Energy, of RES production certificate applications submitted to the June cycle is progressing and should be completed by the end of September, energypress sources have informed.

Barring no complications, such as overlapping RES property issues, applicants should receive related emails by early October requesting payment of producer certificate fees to DAPEEP, the RES market operator. Successful applicants will be given 20 day-periods to pay this fee.

A total of 743 applications for RES units representing a total capacity of 17.4 GW were submitted to RAE for the June cycle, the authority has announced. Solar energy units, totaling 302 and representing 12.8 GW, were the cycle’s dominant RES technology, followed by wind energy units, reaching 290 in total for 4.2 GW.

Meanwhile, RAE is preparing to establish a 35,000-euro letter of guarantee as a prerequisite for applications, this measure’s objective being to limit applications to RES investors with serious intentions.

The authority launched a brief public consultation procedure on Friday. It concludes tomorrow, paving the way for the energy ministry’s draft bill for the letter of guarantee measure’s implementation.

 

Many RES plans will be shelved as competition intensifies

A sizeable number of RES plans, especially smaller-scale projects, face dead-end paths as new market conditions now being shaped undoubtedly favor the big players, domestic and foreign.

The limited RES capacity to be offered at ensuing RES auctions, lower tariff prices expected at these sessions as a result of intensified competition, also seen lowering power purchase agreement (PPA) levels for RES producers, are all contributing to this changing market scene.

Only a small fraction of the abundant RES investment plans that have emerged will end up being developed, once they have secured lower-level tariffs, offering narrower profit margins, at the next RES auctions.

RES projects representing a total capacity of approximately 3.1 GW are planned to secure tariffs, for their output, at auctions over the next three years.

Stressing the diminished prospects for most RES investment plans, over 3,000 producer-certificate applications for units representing a total capacity of 71 GW were submitted to local authorities in last December’s cycle alone.

Letters of guarantee at €35,000 per MW possible for bigger PVs

RES investors applying for producer certificates concerning facilities over 1 MW may need to also submit accompanying letters of guarantee worth 35,000 euros per MW as part of the application process, the objective being to make this procedure more demanding and restrict applications to investors with serious intentions of following through on their plans.

Heightened investment interest has led to an overheated RES market, especially in the large-scale PV category, prompting saturation at various stages of the licensing process.

Restricting applications to investors with serious intentions will help free precious system capacity currently taken up by PV investors acting in a haphazard fashion without full commitment to their plans.

If the measure is eventually implemented, an investor behind a solar energy project plan with a capacity of 50 MW, for example, will need to submit a letter of guarantee worth 1.75 million euros.

The energy ministry does not intend to take immediate action but is likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach over a six-month adjustment period before deciding on whether to require letters of guarantee.

 

RES investment interest high in June cycle, attracting 17 GW

RES investment interest remained high in a latest cycle for  producer certificate applications offered by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, between June 1 and 10, amassing over 700 applications representing a total capacity of 17.3 GW, energypress sources have informed.

This heightened level of interest has defied the forecasts of certain analysts who expected more subdued figures as a result of lower tariff prices at a recent RES auction.

Solar energy projects represented 12.7 GW of the total, while wind energy applications made up 4.1 GW.

The level of investment interest expressed through this June cycle greatly exceeds figures registered in the preceding cycle, in February, when a total of 477 RES producer certificate applications, representing 8.86 GW, were submitted.

Also taking into account last December’s cycle, when new rules were introduced, the grand total of applications, in all three cycles, exceeds 3,000 for projects representing 71 GW.

At the current rate, a single cycle is attracting more applications than the number submitted over the course of more than a year in the past.

A 20 percent proportion of producer certificate applications submitted in the December cycle was rejected as criteria were not fully met, the most common issue being overlapping properties declared as project sites by investors.

 

RAE launches latest cycle for RES producer certificate applications

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has just launched a latest cycle offering RES producer certificates, the third to be held under a new framework. Applicants face a June 10 deadline.

This third cycle for producer certificates, the initial step in the RES licensing process, follows rounds staged last December and February, which attracted applications representing total project capacities of 45.45 and 8.86 GW, respectively.

The authority, which completed processing a backlog of December-cycle applications in mid-April, has announced that 1,544 applications, of 1,865 in total, fulfilled all criteria. These successful applications represent a total project capacity of 34.48 GW.

Applications submitted in the February cycle are still being processed.

Applications blocked by the authority as a result of overlapping properties declared by investors as project sites are, in many cases, being amicably resolved between opposing sides, energypress sources have informed.

It remains to be seen if the big turnout experienced for the December and February cycles will be smaller in this latest cycle, given lower tariffs secured by investors at these previous rounds.

The energy ministry is still entertaining thoughts of requiring investors to accompany their producer certificate applications with letters of guarantee or proof of property ownership.

Market players have expressed concern, noting such measures would emerge belatedly and introduce new rules that have not applied for previous cycles.

 

RES licensing procedure revision plan troubling players

A new RES licensing model being worked on by the energy ministry, especially two aspects, one requiring letters of guarantee from investors even if they have previously obtained production certificates, and the other, offering licensing-procedure priority to investors who opt to negotiate and establish bilateral power purchase agreements (PPAs) with industrial consumers rather than secure fixed tariffs through RES auctions, are details troubling players.

Under current licensing rules, RES investors must submit letters of guarantee only when connection terms have been signed, in other words, at the very end of the procedure.

This order of things is saturating the market as players not fully committed to their investment plans are haphazardly submitting licensing applications and occupying capacity that is valuable for investors with serious intentions.

The energy ministry now intends to revise this procedure so that RES investors submit their letters of guarantee at the beginning of the licensing process.

Over the past few weeks, the energy ministry has examined the prospect of requiring investors, old and new, to forward letters of guarantee along with their producer certificate applications. This ministry plan, still lacking full clarity, has unsettled market players.

The ministry’s plan to offer favorable licensing procedure treatment to RES investors opting to negotiate PPAs with industrial consumers rather than seek fixed tariffs at auction has also raised concerns. The resulting monitoring effort to be needed could be complicated and uncertain, players and critics fear.

Majority 80% of RES applicants provide certificate payments

A sizeable portion of RES investors, approximately 20 percent, who were entitled to producer certificates after submitting related applications, abandoned their plans by not paying their resulting fees, latest data released by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for a December 2020 cycle has shown.

The majority 80 percent of applicants, numbering 1,249, followed through with their producer certificate payments to add a further 27 GW to the accumulation of RES license applications, all at various maturity stages.

A May 11 deadline was set for the December 2020 cycle’s producer certificate payments.

Investors submitted a total of 1,865 applications to the December 2020 cycle, representing a total of approximately 45 GW. Of these, 1,544 applications, representing 34.4 GW, fulfilled all criteria and their investors were invited to pay fees for the issuance of producer certificates.

The remainder of applications that failed to qualify, representing approximately 10 GW, were held back by a variety of problems, primarily property overlapping issues.

RES investors with property overlapping issues will need to resolve matters between them so that producer certificate applications represent one property per application.

In terms of RES technology, 79.6 percent of solar energy project applicants paid their fees for producer certificates in the December 2020 cycle.

The figure was slightly higher for wind energy applications, reaching 81 percent.

RES installation permit deadline for producer certificate validity

The energy ministry’s RES licensing committee has proposed an additional deadline, for installation permit applications, as part of a second wave of interventions in the licensing simplification effort for new RES projects.

According to the proposal, if investors miss their installation permit application deadline, then producer certificates obtained for related projects would automatically expire.

Investors would be given a twelve-month period to submit their installation permit applications once connection offers have been accepted for solar energy projects, onshore wind farms and hybrid units, and 18 months for all other RES technologies and combined cooling, heart and power (CCHP) facilities, according to the committee’s proposal.

Producer certificate applications backlog ‘processed by June’

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will have processed all RES project applications for producer certificates by June, its chief executive Thanassis Dagoumas, has informed, describing the authority’s upgraded IT system, enabling swifter processing, as a key step in its digital transformation.

Processing of applications submitted through the February, 2021 cycle will commence once the appraisal of December, 2020 applications has been completed, the objective being to have cleared the entire backlog by this June, when the next cycle is scheduled to commence, Dagoumas noted.

The authority’s IT upgrade has enabled RAE to receive, in a secure and reliable way, 2,341 applications representing a total of 54.36 GW through the two cycles in December 2020 and February, 2021, Dagoumas highlighted.

The authority has managed to process a large percentage of producer certificate applications received through the December, 2020 cycle faster than ever before, the RAE chief informed.

RAE has offered preliminary approval for producer certificate applications representing projects with a total capacity of 34.5 GW, whose investors are expected to soon pay related fees to DAPEEP, the RES market operator, a step prompting automated issuance of producer certificates.

A large number of overlapping RES project plans was detected during processing, which will require RAE to conduct closer examinations of these cases, the RAE chief said.

Dagoumas also pointed out that intensified competition in the RES market is paving the way for a further reduction in tariffs, expected to drop to a level of less than 40 euros per MWh for major-scale solar energy production.

Registrations for a combined (solar and wind energy) RES auction on May 24 have greatly exceeded levels needed for strong bidding competition, as 128 projects representing 1,090 MW will participate, the RAE head informed.

Prioritization for RES projects with producer certificates proposed

The energy ministry’s RES licensing committee has recommended a four-month prioritization period by power grid operator IPTO in its processing of connection term applications submitted by investors already holding producer certificates. This prioritization would be implemented at the expense of small-scale RES unit applications, which have swamped licensing system and caused problems.

The proposal, presented at a committee meeting yesterday, would effectively push forward, by four months, connection term applications submitted for projects already issued producer certificates.

The main topic of yesterday’s committee meeting concerned a presentation of this body’s proposal for RES licensing simplification procedures, during the latter stages, such as when finalized connection terms are offered and operating licenses are issued.

 

RES producer certificate applications wave sustained

The increased wave of RES producer certificate applications submitted of late continued with February’s round, attracting 477 applications representing a total of 8.8 GW, energypress sources have informed. This latest round’s deadline expired on February 10.

Applications for solar energy projects were dominant, both numerically and in terms of capacity, totaling 226 applications and 6 GW, respectively.

A total of 167 applications representing 2.65 GW were submitted for wind energy projects.

The remainder of applications concerned a variety of other RES technologies such as small-scale hydropower plants, combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) facilities, as well as biogas-biomass units.

The supervising body, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is soon expected to begin processing applications submitted for the preceding December round and complete this procedure by late March or early April.

Successful applicants of the December round will then be requested to pay required fees for their producer certificates.

A total of 864 applications representing a capacity of 45.55 GW were lodged by prospective investors for the December round.

Ministry measures to block unrealistic RES license bids

The energy minister appears determined to cool off what it sees as an overheated renewable energy market, fearing the relentless, often unrealistic, drive by prospective investors for producer certificates during recent licensing cycles, peaking with last December’s 1,864 applications representing 45.55 GW, will inevitably lead to side effects for the sector.

The ministry is now looking to introduce filters that would limit the processing of applications to those linked with investors possessing the financial means to carry out project plans, and to RES applications that have secured legal possession of required property.

Applicants may need to attach letters of guarantee or other documents proving their financial capability to their producer certificate applications. Such a measure, it is believed, will block the mass inflow of applications submitted by applicants who stand no chance of actualizing their project plans.

A second filter being considered at the ministry would immediately reject applications that do not possess the required land. This measure could be introduced in the form of a preliminary concession agreement concerning property use.

As part of this measure, procedures enabling property owners to block RES license applications submitted by investors who have not been given consent for land they intend to use will most likely be simplified. Under current rules, land owners seeking to reclaim their property need to apply for RES licenses themselves.

RAE launches new application round for RES producer certificates

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has launched a 10-day application period for RES producer certificates, running until February 10.

This new round follows a big wave of applications submitted by RES investors in December, a record-breaking cycle, both in terms of application numbers and capacity. A total of 1,864 applications representing 45.5 GW were submitted in December.

RAE has already begun processing the previous round’s applications, a large percentage of which are expected to be excessive.

Information gathered on preceding applications – including still-unprocessed applications submitted through rounds in September, 2018 and December, 2019, both under the latest licensing rules – indicates that the majority of investors want to at least reach the first stage of the investment maturity process.

A preliminary fee expected from applicants for their producer certificates stands as a test of investor intent, even though this fee is smaller for older applications.

To date, applicants behind 939 applications, of 1,483 submitted in total, or over 60 percent, have already paid this preliminary fee.

Applications submitted through the September, 2018 cycle are offered a 90 percent discount on this fee. The discount is gradually reduced for newer applications, reaching as low as 50 percent for bids lodged through the December, 2019 cycle. These fees are paid as lump sums.

Producer certificate rule soon, financing OK for RES license one-stop shop

A new regulation facilitating the issuance of electricity producer certificates for RES and CCHP (Combined Cool Heat and Power) projects, in place of production licenses, as part of a wider RES licensing simplification effort, will be implemented within the next few days, the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou noted during a presentation of a new online platform developed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for the producer certificate procedure.

The new regulation will come into effect on time to enable a new round of RES license applications staged by RAE to proceed as planned between December 1 and 10, the ministry official reiterated.

In addition, various RES sector criteria, including ones concerning project spatial coverage matters, have been fine-tuned, the intention being to promote, not reject, project plans, Sdoukou noted.

Rule revisions have also been made to further protect RES project ownership, she added.

The new RAE platform, the result of a sustained effort, promises to serve as an investor-friendly tool, Sdoukou said.

The energy ministry official also informed that green-fund financing has been approved for an integrated information system to be co-developed by the ministry as a one-stop shop covering all RES project licensing procedures.

Survey Digital Photovoltaics investments progressing

Survey Digital Photovoltaics Single Shareholder SA recently received a production certificate from RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for 125 MW from its privately owned portfolio of 500 MW, the company announced in a statement. These are the following projects:

  1. PV Unit 6,000.96kW at the location “Kalamitis” of the Municipality of Thebes in the Prefecture of Viotia.
  2. PV Unit 6,360.44kW at the location “Paliodendros” of the Municipality of Aktio-Vonitsa in the prefecture of Etoloakarnania.
  3. PV Unit 9,999.00kW at the location “Koumaries” area Agios Ioannis, Municipality of Katerini, Prefecture of Pieria.
  4. PV Unit 44,645.00kW at the location “Yangova” area Arnaia, Municipality of Aristotle, Prefecture of Chalkidiki.
  5. PV Unit 58,437.72kW at the location “Yangova” area Arnaia, Municipality of Aristotle, Prefecture of Chalkidiki.

The company has secured for its entire approved portfolio the financing of the investments by Alpha Bank, while the permitting of the projects is performed with company’s own funds and with signed pre-lease-purchase agreements for the land plots. The entire permitting process (environmental and grid connection terms) is expected to be completed by April 2021.

The company’s target is the participation of these first projects in the RAE tenders for locking a guaranteed price within 2021, with the start of the construction of the projects and the relevant interconnection networks from the summer of 2021.

It is worth noting that Survey Digital Photovoltaics Single Shareholder SA is a company of purely Greek interests, with strong extroversion and vast experience in the photovoltaic sector. The company has been active in the sector since 2006.

For more information, visit the company website www.survey-digital.com, or contact through the social media (www.linkedin.com/company/survey-digital, www.facebook.com/SurveyDigitalPhotovoltaics, www.instagram.com/surveydigitalphotovoltaics).

 

RAE freezes RES producer certificate process, prompting investor unrest

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, without explanation, has stopped issuing RES producer certificates for older applications submitted between October, 2018 and December, 2019, the first round of applications examined through new rules.

The development has prompted strong reaction and unrest among investors, who, according to comments made to energypress, have paid their related fees but not received RES producer certificates, as stipulated by the new law.

This round of applications underwent processing through a new online system adopted by RAE. RES investors were requested, via email, to pay a related fee through the banking system.

Responding to questions on the issue, the IT company handling RAE’s new software said it was ordered by RAE to not proceed to the next stage, offering automated RES producer certificates.

The authority is concurrently examining older applications submitted until June, 2018; applications lodged between October, 2018 and December, 2019; and also preparing new terms for a forthcoming round of applications rescheduled for December, instead of October.

RAE facing backlog of RES license bids as new round nears

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is battling against time to process a backlog of RES production license applications ahead of a new round of applications, to be staged as a revised system offering producer certificates. This new framework is legislated to commence in October.

The authority is concurrently examining older applications submitted until June, 2018, applications lodged between October, 2018 and December, 2019, and also preparing new terms for the forthcoming applications scheduled to begin in October.

An overwhelming majority of investors has responded to a recent RAE request calling for reconfirmations and updates of older applications.

Older applications submitted until June, 2018 are being processed with support from software designed specifically for this purpose. These applications, numbering approximately 300, will also need to be examined, one by one, by the RAE board.

Similar software is also being used for the processing and examination of applications submitted between October, 2018 and December, 2019. Though this process is simpler, the numbers are bigger, tallying some 1,400.

RAE still has plenty of work to do to finalize a detailed proposal for producer certificate terms. Once ready, it will need to be forwarded to the energy ministry, which, in turn, must sign a ministerial decision to bring the plan into effect.

Two previous rounds that had been scheduled for March and June this year were not staged as a result of the upcoming new rules and change of licensing framework. Judging by current RES investor indications, the next round is expected to attract a record number of applications.

This forecast adds to RAE’s concerns about the backlog of applications that need to be cleared.

 

 

 

New rule soon for RES producer certificates, swifter licensing promised

A new rule concerning the introduction of RES producer certificates, to replace electricity production permits – a measure taken to help quicken licensing procedures – is expected to be announced within the next few days.

The replacement of RES electricity production permits with RES producer certificates, to be issued by RAE, represents the first step of a new RES licensing simplification framework presented by the energy ministry last April.

This plan will aim to drastically reduce the duration of RES licensing procedures to two years from the current average of seven years.

Procedures leading to new licensing rules have been slightly delayed by administration changes at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. The authority was originally scheduled to deliver its plan on August 7 for immediate approval by the energy ministry.

This deadline date was set to offer RAE sufficient time to inform RES investors of the supporting documents required as a result of the new rules ahead of a planned early-October launch for application submissions.

RAE will issue RES producer certificates once applicants have presented proof of payment for related fees.

These fees have been set as follows: 3,000 euros per MW for capacities up to 1 MW; 2,500 euros for capacities between 1 MW and 10 MW; 2,000 euros per MW for 10 MW to 50 MW; 1,500 euros per MW for 50 MW to 100 MW; and 1,000 euros per MW for over 100 MW.