Regional Court of Halle: Inverters Necessary for Commissioning of PV Power Plant under EEG 2009

In derogation of an advice issued in 2010 by Clearingstelle EEG (EEG Clearing Agency), the Regional Court of Halle held that Section 3 no. 5 Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) as applicable until 2012 (EEG 2009) required the installation of inverters for photovoltaic power plants in order to be considered “commissioned” in the sense of the provision and to be eligible for feed-in tariffs pursuant to the EEG.

The Halle court argued based on a systematic and historic interpretation of the EEG 2009. Firstly, Section 16 para. 4 EEG 2009 required renewable power plant operators who wanted to claim feed-in tariffs to put the electricity at the disposal of the grid operator, the court pointed out, saying this was not possible in the case at hand, since the inverters were not installed at the time plaintiff claimed feed-in tariffs for. Secondly, the legislator wanted Section 3 no. 5 EEG 2009 to be understood in a way that the relevant moment in time was the one when electricity was effectively provided to the grid operator, the court in Halle said based on the legislative texts relating to the EEG 2009.

The court pointed out that it was not bound by the advisory note on the matter issued by EEG Clearing Agency in 2010.

Please note that Section 3 no. 5 EEG as applicable since April 2012 stipulates that for a commissioning in the sense of the provision the renewable power plant has to be “permanently equipped with the installations necessary to generate alternating current” (“… dauerhaft mit dem für die Erzeugung von Wechselstrom erforderlichen Zubehör installiert wurde …”).

Source: Clearingstelle EEG

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