Royal Decree 900/2015, of 9 of October on Self-consumption

Written on 17 Nov 2015

The regulation finally passed covers the administrative, technical and economic conditions of certain self-consumption modalities determining their obligation to contribute to the access tolls and other charges.

All consumers under any of the self-consumption modalities have to be registered in the so-called Registry for Electrical Energy Self-Consumption. And this even when no surplus energy will be ever sold to the network. This obligation does not apply to isolated facilities.

This Royal Decree applies to those facilities connected within a net which fall under one of the following self-consumption modalities: supply modalities with self-consumption; production modalities with self-consumption; production modalities with self-consumption of a consumer connected to the generation facility through a direct line (Arts. 9.1 a), b) y c) of the Law 24/2013, of 26 of December, on the Electricity Sector). And this, even if no energy is fed to the transmission and distribution networks. Nevertheless, those isolated facilities, as well as the generation groups exclusively used for power interruptions, are exempted from this scheme.

The regulation sets up two self-consumption modalities: type 1 or supply with self-consumption: consumer with a contracted power of 100 kW or less, owning one or more generation facilities within its internal network. Those generation facilities must be unregistered as production facilities and its combined power must be of 100 kW or less; type 2 or production with self-consumption: consumer associated to one or more production facilities of the same owner and connected within its network; connected through direct lines; or sharing connection infrastructures. The combined power of the production facilities must be equal or less to the consumer contracted power.

According to the Royal Decree, electrical energy storage devices may be installed within the self-consumption facilities falling under its scope. In any event, the current regulation makes it unattractive.

In relation to the controversial issue of the tolls and charges, it must be noted that, pursuant to the Royal Decree finally approved, consumers under any of the self-consumption modalities must pay out the “access tolls” to the transmission and distribution networks to cover its costs. Those tolls shall be paid in accordance to the real use of the networks (contracted power and energy introduced in the border point). Under the modality type 2, the owners of the production facilities shall pay out the “access tolls” for feeding energy to the network.

Likewise, all consumers, regardless the self-consumption modality, shall pay out the “charges associated to the electricity system cost” (specific economic scheme for energy generation from renewable sources; high efficiency cogeneration and waste; extra cost resulting from the power generation in non-mainland territories; annuities of the electrical system deficit, interests and costs). Moreover, these consumers have to pay out the “charge for other services of the system” defined as the payment resulting from the back up of the electrical system. Regarding this last charge, the regulation provides that the Government may establish reductions in the non-mainland territories as well as for determined categories of low voltage consumers under the modality of supply with self-consumption.

Regarding the charges to apply temporarily, the Royal Decree removes the variable charge for those consumers under a self-consumption modality in the non-mainland systems and for small consumers (<10 kW).

In addition, certain existing cogeneration facilities, small generation facilities (<50 MW) and generation facilities connected to distribution networks enjoy transitional exemptions until 31 December 2019.

Consumers under a self-consumption modality and producers under modality type 2 may purchase energy for generation ancillary services as direct consumers in the market or through an energy trading company. On the other hand, only facilities under modality type 2 are entitled to receive a compensation for feeding energy to the network. In practice, this prevents particular users from receiving any compensation for the energy produced and not used.

In any event the regulations provides that electrical energy consumers with a high voltage connection; carrying out an activity which secondary product is electrical energy generation; that as a result of having an energy saving and efficiency system have electrical energy in certain moments that cannot be consumed within the facility may be exceptionally authorised to discharge such energy to the network provided that they comply with the applicable requirements. To this extent, energy saving and efficiency system are not any electricity generation system, battery of energy storage system.

Cogeneration facilities and its associated consumer may still choose between selling all the net energy produced and entering into the modality of production with self- consumption when they comply with the requirements of the Royal Decree. In any event, they must remain in the same sale option for at least one year.