The grid will not accommodate more renewable energy sources – restrictions may be the answer

The total installed capacity of renewable energy sources in Poland has exceeded 16 GW. The largest source of renewable energy in Poland is photovoltaics, which in November 2021 surpassed wind energy (according to ARE). The total installed capacity of both sources is more than 7 GW. Due to the investment boom of recent years, photovoltaics dominate the consumer energy segment. Large photovoltaic farms have also begun to appear on the energy market, which is the result of organized RES auctions, but not only. Larger farms are also being built without state support.

At the current stage of development of renewable energy facilities, there is a problem of connecting generation sources in the Polish distribution network. Tauron Dystrybucja points to the problem.

– We receive a large number of applications for the connection of large RES facilities. In 2021, we have provided more than 700 connection conditions with a total capacity of approximately 2,200 MW. Last year, about 370 contact agreements were signed with such organizations. However, it should be noted that the potential for connecting network resources to the distribution network is narrowing. In some places, the network can no longer accept other large generation sources, and all DSOs in Poland have similar problems, explains Robert Zasina, President of TAURON Dystrybucja.

Distributors are unable to rebuild the network in a short period of time and meet the expectations of applicants, Tauron explains. As we read in the issue, the construction of renewable energy sources is often planned in areas where the energy infrastructure is underdeveloped and more expensive.

Refuse to connect the installation to the network

Investors are increasingly refusing to connect large RES facilities to the network.

– Importantly, each such refusal is the result of an analysis of the technical feasibility of connecting the source to the network. The potential location is always carefully checked in terms of the impact of the planned source on the quality parameters of the distributed electricity, as well as the possibility of applying the required power – explains the operator.

In this regard, despite the great needs, the adaptation of the distribution network requires time and large investment costs, and the budgets of distribution companies arising from tariffs do not allow them to grow rapidly.

In addition to the measures taken by the energy distributor, the activities of the applicants are also important. Much of the connectivity is blocked by unfulfilled or partially executed requests, the operator said.

– One of the effective solutions may be the application of restrictions that unequivocally discipline the subjects who have the opportunity to combine renewable energy sources with high energy to carry out planned activities for a certain period of time – points Zasina.

The company’s president suggests that the rules should limit the powers granted by the DSO in the event of a delay, non-performance or partial performance of an assignment to allow other applicants to join. network. In addition, some organizations apply for connection and submit applications in several places, checking the possibility of connection only without the intention to set up such sources in all these places..

Investors also have reserves

In the pages of the GLOBENERGIA portal, we also pointed to the problem of indefinite rejection by DSO operators. In justifying the refusals, operators generally refer to the lack of technical conditions for connection to the network, thus not indicating the prospect of a connection in the end.

At the same time, in litigation, the Energy Regulatory Authority denies access to information on the conditions for joining entrepreneurs who invest in the development of RES, as a standard, contrary to numerous legislative provisions (including directives) and the actual content of individual documents. protection of confidential information or business secrets. According to the Lewiatan Confederation, This affects the transparency of the network connection system and does not allow for a rational search for such solutions that can prevent some of the problems identified by network operators.

Source: Tauron Dystrybucja, Lewiatan Confederation, own

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