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How to get a photovoltaic power generation license (WEE license) – key conditions

Kacper Skalski Legal Counsel, Partner
15 April 2019
How to get a photovoltaic power generation license (WEE license) – key conditions

What photovoltaic installations must obtain a license from the ERO for energy production?

At the outset, it should be noted that a license for the production of electricity in a renewable source installation including a photovoltaic installation (WEE) is required if you intend to produce electricity in a photovoltaic installation except:

  • photovoltaic installations constituting a micro-installation, i.e., a renewable energy source installation with a total installed electrical capacity of no more than 50 kW, connected to a power grid with a rated voltage of less than 110 kV or with a cogenerated thermal power of no more than 150 kW, with a total installed electrical capacity of no more than 50 kW (Article 2(19) of the Law on Renewable Energy Sources)
  • photovoltaic installations that are small installations, i.e., renewable energy source installations with a total installed electrical capacity of more than 50 kW and less than 500 kW, connected to a power grid with a rated voltage of less than 110 kV or with a cogenerated thermal power output of more than 150 kW and not more than 900 kW, in which the total installed electrical capacity is more than 50 kW and less than 500 kW (Article 2(18) of the Law on Renewable Energy Sources).

What are the conditions for obtaining a photovoltaic power generation license?

The conditions under which you can obtain a photovoltaic power generation license are contained in the Energy Law and the Law on Freedom of Doing Business. In addition, the ERO President, in order to facilitate the preparation of an application for a photovoltaic power generation license, has developed so-called Information Packages, which contain useful tips on the process of obtaining a photovoltaic power generation license, information on the ERO President’s license proceedings and the formal conditions to be met when applying for a photovoltaic power generation license.

Entities applying for a license for photovoltaic power generation in the Information Packages will find answers to the most common questions: what conditions should be met to obtain a license for photovoltaic power generation, and what documents and in what form should be attached to the application for a license for photovoltaic power generation.

In our opinion, the aforementioned packages are very helpful to the
applicants and facilitate the collection of all necessary documents for the
application for a license to generate electricity in a photovoltaic installation
photovoltaic installation.

What is the procedure for obtaining a license for generation of electricity in a photovoltaic installation ?

The procedure itself for obtaining a license to generate
of electricity in a photovoltaic installation, is aimed at verifying that the
applicant, has adequate financial and material resources, as well as
knowledge and experience, necessary to conduct activities in the field of
generation of electricity in a photovoltaic installation.

Is a license necessary to take advantage of the feed in tariff (FIT) and feed in premium (FIP) support systems ?

What is also extremely important, only licensed energy companies, as well as companies entered in the above-mentioned registers of regulated activities (if a license or entry is required), generating electricity in a renewable energy source installation ( including photovoltaic installations), can apply for the issuance of certificates of origin referred to in Art. 45 of the Law on Renewable Energy Sources (provided that the first generation of electricity in the installation took place before July 1, 2016) or participate in the auction support system for electricity generation from renewable energy sources or tariff support systems, the so-called feed in tariff (FIT) and feed in premium (FIP).

Concession proceedings are initiated after the submission of an application for a photovoltaic electricity generation license, which should include information about the planned activity, including a business plan for conducting photovoltaic electricity generation activities and a description of the entrepreneur’s previous activities.

In our experience, in the case of newly established companies, one of the key issues for obtaining a license is having sufficient financial resources to operate under a photovoltaic power generation license.

It should also be emphasized that the ERO President, when evaluating the financial capacity of an entity applying for a photovoltaic electricity generation license, takes into account the financial resources that the applicant may actually have at his disposal. This condition will not be met by, for example, non-binding commitments of third parties to invest, letters of intent or other non-binding declarations of recapitalization of the entity applying for a photovoltaic power generation license. The firm’s lawyers also advise on ways to secure financial resources to carry out the business of generating electricity in a photovoltaic installation

It is also worth noting the form of documents attached to the application for a photovoltaic electricity generation license. Some of the documents can be submitted only in the original, such as information about the lack of criminal record from the National Criminal Register issued with respect to the entity applying for a license for the production of electricity in a photovoltaic installation, and separately the members of the board of directors and persons authorized to represent. If the applicant is a citizen of, or is based in, one of the member states of the European Union, the Swiss Confederation and the member states of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), the information on criminal record should come from the register of the relevant country and be provided, together with a sworn translation and an apostille clause. In addition, submitted documents must not be older than 3 months from the date of their submission to the ERO.

It is worth noting that carrying out business activities without the required license, according to Article 601 of the Law of May 20, 1971. – Code of Offenses. is punishable by restriction of freedom or a fine.

In our experience, the process of obtaining a license for photovoltaic power generation takes from 2 to 3 months.

If you are interested in our services in preparing an application for a photovoltaic electricity generation license, our lawyers are at your disposal. At the request of our clients, we conduct the entire concession proceedings before the President of the ERO, or we prepare only certain parts of the concession application, in particular the so-called business plan of the licensed activity, i.e. a statement of annual, planned revenues and costs for the activity covered by the concession application (OEE), for a minimum period of three full calendar years.

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Kacper Skalski Legal Counsel, Partner
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