Spain’s new Grid Connection Act has been adopted. There are still no internet portals of grid operators where free grid capacities could be identified.


​published on 19th February 2021


On 29 December 2020, the new Royal Decree (RD) 1183/2020 on access and connection to the electricity transmission and distribution grids (Grid Connection Act) was published in Spain's Official State Gazette (BOE).
Nothing changed about the requirement to provide the guarantee. The establishment of a security (bank guarantee or insurance guarantee – seguro de caución) in the amount of 40EUR/kwp of installed capacity (as defined in Article 3 of RD 413/2014) is still required. Article 3 of RD 413/2014 was modified by the Grid Connection Act and now regulates that in the case of PV systems the installed capacity should be the lower of the following two capacities:

  • the total of peak capacities of each module
  • the total of peak capacities of the inverters 

Irrespective of planned capacity auctions and certain priority given to hybrid plants, the rule „first come, first served” continues to apply, whereas the decisive date is the date of submitting the application for allocating the grid connection and grid access point. If any defects need to be rectified, however, the decisive date is the date on which the „rectified” documents are submitted.

A promising change is the combination of the two applications for grid access and grid connection into one application, which must be submitted to the respective grid operator (i.e. transmission or distribution grid). The latter then has to observe various deadlines for admitting the application for examination (admitido a trámite).

If the application is admitted for examination, the grid operator will examine the application and, if necessary, consult the transmission system operator if the transmission system capacity needs to be checked (previously, this used to be the REE's grid access check). The application processing times depend on the connection voltage and whether the transmission system operator has to be consulted.

If an application is accepted, the grid operator issues a technical decision on the connection capacity and the necessary modifications to the grid and the connection point, as is already the practice.

The regulations on financial security (guarantee) have also been amended and are described below.

According to Article 26 of the Grid Connection Act, the guarantee is forfeited (caduca) if:

a) after the expiry of 5 years of the date of granting the grid connection permit, the project has not obtained the commissioning permit (acta de puesta en servicio); or

(b) the milestones specified in Article 1 of Royal Decree-Law (RDL) 23/2020 are not met. The milestones are as follows:



c) Failure to provide the security deposit specified in Article 24 of the Grid Connection Act. Security deposits were first mentioned in Royal Decree-Law (RDL) 15/2018 and must be provided if in the case of a grid connection (of over 36kv) the connection point is to be expanded. Generally, in such cases, further transformers, lines or buildings must be built, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to build them or to pay for the their construction. The security deposit is 10% of the expansion costs (costs of materials, construction costs, planning costs, VAT) and must be provided within 12 months of the date when the grid connection permit was issued (including 21% VAT).

d) No voluntary waiver of the authorisation procedure for the project or any of the rights essential to its development. This means that measures and/or formalities required for the timely and correct completion of the authorisation procedure for the project must be observed, including ensuring the correct and timely response to inquiries from the competent authorities.

e) Forfeiture of a pending authorisation procedure (autorización administrativa) or non-compliance with legal deadlines concerning authorisations required for this purpose. The authorisation procedure concerning a project includes several different administrative approval procedures, each of which is handled by different administrative authorities and each of which is subject to specific local regulations.

For example, the Environmental Impact Statement (Declaración de Impacto Ambiental) expires within 4 years of its announcement, unless the project started to be implemented before that time.

f) 20% of the guarantee shall be forfeited if the application for granting the grid connection and grid access point is rejected (indamisión) because there is no longer any free grid capacity at the specific grid node according to the web portals existing under Article 5.4 of the Grid Connection Act. Article 5.4 of the Grid Connection Act requires operators of the transmission and distribution grids to maintain web portals on which they report on the existing grid capacities at the grid points. However, these web portals do not have to be available until at least 3 months after the entry into force of the Grid Connection Act, whereas further details are yet to be regulated in a CNMC circular.

The enforcement of the 20% of the guarantee can only be prevented if the applicant proves in the request for the release of the guarantee that on the day the guarantee was issued a corresponding capacity was available at 8:00 a.m. and that these capacities were not intended for auctions according to Article 18 of the Grid Connection Act.

According to Article 23 no. 6 second paragraph of the Grid Connection Act, the competent authorisation authority may refrain from enforcing the guarantee if: 

  • a public expert opinion requires the abandonment of the construction measures, or
  • in the event that a negative environmental impact assessment is issued, without this being attributable to the applicant.

The developer must explicitly request the release of the guarantee from the competent authorities in accordance with Article 9.3 of the Grid Connection Act, including a justification and conclusive evidence of the circumstances that led to the termination of the project and the fact that they are not attributable to the developer. The guarantee must then be released within 3 months of submitting the request.

Furthermore, according to Article 14 no. 6 of the Grid Connection Act, the guarantee should be returned to applicants if they do not expressly accept the specific offer of the grid connection point according to Article 12 of the Act within 30 days or if they request a review and this is not done or is done inadequately. The specific offer of the grid connection point includes, among other things, the grid connection capacity, the location and general financial conditions for an expansion, if necessary.





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​​​​*Rödl GmbH Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft Steuerberatungsgesellschaft Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft

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