Federal Network Agency Orders DB Energie to Provide Grid Access

The Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), the German grid regulator, ordered DB Energie GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) to provide grid access for third parties supplying energy to end customers connected to its grid by 1 February 2011 at the latest.

DB Energie GmbH operates 50Hz grids at over 5,000 locations in Germany. They serve mainly to provide energy for facilities of German Rail Group located at railway stations and on railway property. In addition, third parties, mostly kiosks, restaurants and retail shop at train stations, are provided with energy. At large train stations the situation is similar to shopping malls.

“Our decision sets a clear deadline and targets on how to provide grid access for DB Energie GmbH”, Matthias Kurth, president of Federal Network Agency said. “Ensuring equal grid access, is a core element of our regulatory work”, he pointed out. “Hence, grids of such economic importance must not remain unregulated”, he added.

DB Energie GmbH has been claiming for years that its grids are so-called property grids (Objektnetze) in the sense of § 110 Energiewirtschaftsgesetz (German Energy Act – EnWG). Hence, DB Energie GmbH would not be obliged to grant third party access. § 110 EnWG exempts inter alia grids on company premises that mainly provide energy for company use from large parts of the German Energy Act.

In May 2008 the European Court of Justice held that the denial of access for third party providers in property grids was not compatible with Directive 2003/54/EC (Case C-439/06). Nevertheless, DB Energie GmbH did not meet the Federal Network Agencies’ request to open its grids in accordance with the German Energy Act.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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