Energy Thursday: Simplified procedure for direct line

kancelaria prawo energetyczne Adam Madejski Senior Associate
7 February 2024
Energy Thursday: Simplified procedure for direct line

The amendment of the Electricity Law’s direct line regulations was widely discussed last year. To date, however, there is only one entry in the list maintained by the ERO President, and the length of the connection is 35 meters. The direct line was supposed to be an important tool for entrepreneurs to reduce the cost of electricity demand, but in practice the biggest obstacles lie not primarily in the technical and operational aspects of implementing this type of investment. However, it can be said that from the formal point of view, the implementation of the direct line should not cause problems – simplification of the procedure and the change from the obligation to obtain a decision to make a notification are important changes. I present more on the simplified procedure for obtaining a direct line listing below.

1. Simplified procedure for direct line construction

Before the amendment to the Energy Law, which took place in September 2023, the construction of a direct line was possible only in theory. Such an investment required the approval of the President of the ERO, and in practice it proved impossible to obtain such a decision. The challenges posed to the energy sector by the energy transition led to the decision to loosen the formalities for the construction of a direct line. Here are the issues that should be taken into account when planning to launch or acquire a direct line.

The next step should be careful planning of the direct line’s route and acquiring the relevant titles to use the property – ownership, perpetual usufruct or transmission easement. This is important, because the entity operating the direct line is obliged to maintain it in proper technical condition, which is only possible by guaranteeing permanent access to the equipment (Article 7aa, paragraph 1, items 1 and 2 of the Energy Law).

The next step is to establish and implement technical assumptions, which will be subject to verification at the stage of applying for inclusion in the list of direct lines. In addition to submitting technical data on the parameters of the direct line, it is also necessary to submit an expert report prepared by a qualified person, the subject of which is to estimate the impact of the operation of the direct line and the installations, networks and equipment connected to it on the power system (Article 7aa, paragraph 10, item 3 of the Energy Law).

Only after the above issues have been determined can a complete application be submitted to the ERO President for entry in the direct lines list. The application is submitted according to the template provided on the ERO website  It is necessary to provide the following information:
1. registration data of the applicant and the customer,
2. designation of the generating unit connected to the direct line,
3. parameters and location of the direct line, as well as its technical data.

Along with the application, an expert report on the impact of this direct line or equipment, installations or networks connected to it on the electric power system, prepared by an authorized entity, must be submitted:

  • a person with qualifications confirmed by an appropriate certificate and a minimum of 10 years of experience in the operation of electric power systems, independent of the entity submitting the notification, or
  • a person with a doctoral degree in engineering and technical sciences specializing in the operation of the electric power grid, or
  • a research institute conducting scientific research or development work in the field of power system operation, or
  • an institution of higher education and scientific activity in the field of engineering and technical sciences relevant to the performance of analysis of the operation of electric power systems, or
  • an expert in the field of electrical installations and equipment and the power grid.

Note that the scope, content and assumptions of the expert report should be agreed with the operator of the electric power grid to which the unbundled customer or the entity engaged in the business of electricity trading, to which electricity will be supplied via a direct line, will be connected (Article 7aa, paragraph 10(3)(b) of the Energy Law).

An additional appendix is an electrical diagram of the direct line, including the connection to the grid, installations or equipment of the unbundled customer and the unbundled generation entity, indicating in particular the metering and billing systems and the locations of property demarcation (Article 7aa, paragraph 10(4) of the Energy Law).

1. Important procedural issues

From the applicant’s perspective, the time for the ERO President to review the application is important – it is 45 days from the receipt of the application (Article 7aa, paragraph 13(1) of the Energy Law), but the deadline is valid only if no formal deficiencies are found or no additional technical expertise is required. The condition for positive verification of the entry is the absence of negative impact of the direct line on the power system (Article 7aa paragraph 14 of the Energy Law). The entry is made on the next business day following the expiration of the 45-day deadline (Article 7aa, paragraph 17 of the Energy Law).

If, in the verification process, the ERO President finds formal deficiencies, he calls on the applicant to supplement these deficiencies within no less than 30 days (Article 7aa, paragraph 15(1) of the Energy Law). On the other hand, if the ERO President gains reasonable doubts about the lack of negative impact of the direct line, the following solutions are possible:

1. requesting clarification from the applicant, within no less than 30 days from the date of service of the request,
2. requesting another authorized entity to prepare a second expert report,
3. requesting the competent system operator to prepare an expert report, no later than within 45 days.

The cost of additional expert reports shall be borne by the applicant (Article 7aa paragraph 21 of the Energy Law).

In each of the above cases, the 45-day period for making an entry runs from the moment of completion of formal deficiencies, submission of explanations by the applicant or receipt of additional expertise (Article 7aa, paragraph 18 of the Energy Law).

Making an entry triggers an obligation on the part of the ERO President to immediately issue a certificate of entry and forward it to the applicant (Article 7aa paragraph 13(b) of the Energy Law).

If the ERO President finds that there is a negative impact of the direct line on the electric power system, the applicant does not complete the formal deficiencies in accordance with the summons, the expert report was prepared negligently or by an unauthorized person, then the ERO President refuses to make the entry (Article 7aa paragraph 20 of the Energy Law).


Energy Thursday: Simplified procedure for direct line
7 February 2024

The amendment of the Electricity Law's direct line regulations was widely discussed last year. To…

kancelaria prawo energetyczne Adam Madejski Senior Associate
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