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Unlicenced photovoltaics face stricter regulations

Published

April 1, 2016

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Published:

April 1, 2016

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Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) updated the regulation of so-called unlicensed photovoltaic market or plants of under 1 MW. Turkish regulator’s amendment was published in the official gazette on March 23, PV magazine reports.

A spokesman for Solarbaba, Turkish Solar Energy Society, told PV Magazine that there are three basic changes. Firstly, a legal person can own only one such project directly or indirectly, apart from rooftop installations, and applicants must file evidence. Further, the entity which receives the licence must finish the project and bring it online before it can sell it. The third change concerns stricter control of self-consumption: the meter of the applicant for a new license must be rated at least 30 kW in order to install a 1MW project. So far investors often built two to four projects together and nearby.

The distance from the unlicensed facility to the connection point must be five kilometres or less for capacity up to 0.499 MW, and ten for between 0.5 MW and 1 MW, the article said. The distance of the plants from the connection point cannot exceed six and twelve kilometres. Solarbaba said the amendment may affect the market negatively, but added the organization must observe the situation on the ground first.

The unlicensed market has driven solar power installations in the country, increasing by 150 MW last year, according to PV Magazine. The potential unlicensed pipeline is 1 GW, the article quoted a recent statement by Andi Aranitasi, official from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), working in Istanbul in the institution’s segment of power and energy.

Balta and Yurdakul Attorney Partnership said the new regulation received criticism “from every player in the renewable energy market.” The changes, leading to the limitation of the number of players, were some of the restrictions expected from the early drafts, but with several more restrictions, the lawyers said. “Share transfers of the legal person that applied for grid connection for an unlicensed electricity generation project are prohibited until the provisional acceptance of such project is granted. It should be noted that the amendment on the regulation is silent as per if these restrictions apply to indirect share transfers,” according to a blog post on the firm’s website.

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