BNetzA and Länder Regulatory Authorities Publish Joint Guideline for Closed Distribution Systems

The German Grid Regulator BNetzA and the regulatory authorities for electricity and gas of the ferderal states (Länder) published a joint guideline on closed distribution systems pursuant to Section 110 German Energy Act (EnWG). Closed distribution systems are exempt from a number of important provisions of the EnWG.

Upon application distribution systems can be granted the status of closed distribution systems by the regulatory authorities if certain conditions are met. Notably the incentive regulation and the obligation to have grid charges approved by the regulatory authorities do not apply to closed distribution systems. Section 110 EnWG was amended by the energy legislative package adopted last year, and only applies to the operation of the closed distribution system, not to other business activities of the operator or third parties within the network or beyond.

The guideline also outlines the differences between closed distribution systems and the new Sections 3 no. 24 a and 24b EnWG, which define customer facilities (Kundenanlagen) and customer facilities for self-supply of undertakings (Kundenanlagen zur betrieblichen Eigenversorgung). The latter enjoy even greater freedom from regulation. They were included in the EnWG last summer.

In the past, DB Energie GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn (German Railways), tried to deny third parties access to its grids based on the former version of Section 110 EnWG, but ultimately did not prevail (see related posts below).

Source: Federal Network Agency

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