Clearingstelle EEG Issues Advisory Note on Commissioning of PV Installations

The Clearingstelle EEG (EEG Clearing Agency) issued an advisory note (Hinweis) on when photovoltaic installations are properly commissioned pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2009 (EEG 2009).

Clearingstelle EEG is an independant body established by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety that serves interested parties with regard to the interpretation and disputes relating to the EEG. To this end, the agency can initiate different proceeding, one of which is the “Hinweisverfahren” (advice procedure). Similar to the recommendation procedure (“Empfehlungsverfahren”), the EEG Clearing Agency clarifies questions relating to the application and interpretation of the EEG in the advice procedure. The issues are, however, of lesser importance than the ones resolved in the recommendation procedure.

On 31 Mai 2010 the agency had initiated an advice procedure regarding the question “When has an installation for the photovoltaic generation of electricity from solar energy been put into operation in the sense of § 3 no. 5 EEG 2009?”

According to § 3 no. 5 EEG, “commissioning” shall mean the first time an installation is put into operation, following the establishment of operational readiness, irrespective of whether the generator in the installation was put into operation using renewable energy sources, mine gas or other energy sources. This definition, however, leaves room for interpretation.

Pursant to its rules of procedure, the EEG Clearing Agency gave certain associations and interest groups the opportunity to comment until 15 June 2010.

In its advisory note published on 25 June 2010 the agency states that installations for the photovoltaic generation of electricity from solar energy in the sense of § 3 no. 5 EEG 2009 have been put into operation when electricity is generated for the first time due to an action carried out by the operator or at his behest, and the electricity is converted, i.e. consumed. The advice then defines conversion respectively consumption of energy. It also contains information regarding suitable proof of operation. Lastly, the advice points out that feed-in tariffs will only be paid if the requirements of section 16 et seq. EEG (§§ 16 f. EEG) are met.

Please note that the above information is only a summary, and the advisory note contains further provisions that may be relevant.

Source: Clearingstelle EEG