After the existing regulation was proved to have shortcomings, the Government of Slovenia amended the relevant decree to promote communities that jointly install facilities for the production of energy from renewable sources. The first such cooperative was established in the Luče municipality.
The Decree on Self-supply with Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources was changed to remove administrative barriers in the formation of community self-sufficiency and simplify the process of connecting devices to the power grid, the Government of Slovenia said.
Energy communities or cooperatives are organized by customers who intend to build green power units or storage facilities and other infrastructure to achieve a level of energy independence and possibly sell electricity output, which makes them prosumers. In the case of Slovenia, they supply the excess power to the grid. Prosumers there have the possibility to consume the same amount without expenses by the end of the calendar year.
According to the announcement, the decree was amended to help reach the national targets for renewable energy. The bylaw regulates individual self-supply, self-supply in buildings with several apartments and renewable energy communities. The last of the three categories is for groups connected to the same substation.
No limit for capacity of device
The Ministry of Infrastructure said the intention was to solve issues that emerged since the decree was issued in March 2019, particularly for community self-sufficiency. The procedure must be harmonized and simplified, it added.
Petrol installed photovoltaics, batteries and an electric vehicle charger for Slovenia’s first completely energy independent community
The limit for the capacity of community devices was scrapped, so now it only depends on technical possibilities. One of the biggest challenges for installing them is the integration into the network. Members of the cooperatives will now be able to freely exit or join them and heirs won’t require new contracts.
Energy cooperatives model spreading in Balkans
Local authorities can also participate in the establishment of energy communities. In the region that Balkan Green Energy News covers, most of the cooperatives are in Greece and the model is becoming more popular. Some progress has been made in Serbia and Croatia.
The first of the energy communities in Slovenia was founded in the town of Luče, northeast of Ljubljana. It became energy independent with the introduction of solar power, batteries and a charging station for electric vehicles.
Domestic energy company Petrol was responsible for the works, conducted within a project called Compile – part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. The small community has photovoltaic units of a combined capacity of 102 kW and a system battery of 150 kW and 333 kWh. There are also five house batteries.