Bulgaria: Photovoltaic grid access fee revoked; appeals underway

The decision by the court was made in mid-March, after almost 1,000 companies complained about SWERC’s retroactive grid access fee. While the fee for photovoltaics has been revoked, other renewable energy operators are still waiting for a decision from the court.

As a spokesperson for the Bulgarian Photovoltaic Industry Association (BPVA) explained to pv magazine, due to the specific administrative procedures, the cases were spilt according to renewable energy type. As such, the court decision has not revoked the fee for all renewable energy operators.

Furthermore, since SWERC has appealed the court’s decision, the industry has to "wait the whole procedure until enforcement of the revokation [sic]."

Grid access fees have been revoked for the following:

  • The access fee for RES to the grid Section III – for PV power plants, whose FITs were set by decision ? ?-18/20.06.2011 of SWERC- it.12 for PV power plants with an installed capacity over 200 kWp, commissioned during the period 01.01.2012 to 30.06.2012;
  • The access fee for RES to the grid Section III – for PV plants, whose FITs were set by decision ? ?-18/20.06.2011 of SWERC- it.10 for PV power plants with an installed capacity over 30 kWp to 200 kWp, commissioned during the period 01.01.2012-30.06.2012; and
  • The access fee for RES to the grid Section I – for PV power plants, whose FITs were set by decision ? ?-018/31.03.2010, it. 2 for power plants with PV modules over 5 kWp.

Last September, the Bulgarian state regulator introduced a retroactive renewable energy grid fee. The fee to be paid depended on the FIT a renewable energy operator was granted. For wind, a 10% fee was applied, and for hydropower, a 5% fee. Most heavily hit were photovoltaic operators which, for existing systems, had to pay anything between 1 and 39% back.