Intended changes to the grid connection rules in Romania – the auction-based mechanism and new rules on financial guarantees

On 1 February 2024, the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) in Romania published for consultation an order aimed at approving new rules in the power grid connection sector.

Some of the highlights are as follows:

• the auction-based mechanism is intended to be applied starting on 1 January 2025.

• auctions will take place on a platform operated by the transmission system operator for the allocation of available capacity in the 110kV and medium voltage networks of the distribution and transmission capacity for generation units of at least 1 MW, which applied for capacity allocation.

• the procedure covers (i) rules on the determination of available capacity, (ii) rules on the submission of allocation applications, (iii) rules on the organization of annual auctions for the allocation of available capacity, (iv) rules on the actual allocation of capacity, (v) mandatory clauses in the allocation contract, (vi) sanctions applicable to the parties, including grid operators, for failing to carry out supplementary works for grid development.

• auctions will be carried annually (year N) for the allocation period (10 years) starting on the second year after the auction takes place (Y+2).
applicants for capacity allocation will have to submit participation guarantees in the amount resulting after multiplying the requested capacity (MW) by 1% of the starting bid price and shall be refunded to the applicants whose bids were unsuccessful. The guarantees shall be refunded to the successful applicant upon the conclusion of the allocation contract.

At the same time, the draft order brings changes to the current rules regarding the establishment of financial guarantees. Irrespective of whether grid reinforcement works are required or not, the financial guarantee will amount to 5 % of the grid connection fee (currently this is capped at 20 %) and is intended to be due before the issuance of the grid connection permit.

This snapshot has been prepared by Monica Iancu and Vasile Soltan.