Ensuring non-discriminatory access to infrastructure
Transmission System Operators have to provide non-discriminatory access to their infrastructure and offer the same service and contractual conditions to other market players (third party access).
Regulatory authorities may grant exemptions for new interconnections in strict circumstances:
the investment must enhance competition in the electricity supply
the level of risk attached to the investment is such, that the investment would not take place without the exemption
the interconnection must be owned by a legally separate firm from the TSO in whose system it will be built;
the users of the interconnector must pay for it
the costs of the interconnection cannot be financed through charges for using the linked transmission or distribution systems
the exemption does not harm the competition or the efficient functioning of the market or the regulated system.
What's the role of ACER?
Regulatory authorities receiving a request for exemption should decide within six months. When NRAs fail to agree, or upon their joint request, ACER becomes responsible for adopting such decision.
The exemption process
A copy of every exemption request needs to be transmitted to the European Commission and to ACER on receipt.
Within two months, ACER can provide an opinion to the regulatory authorities involved.
If a decision is taken, this must be notified by the NRAs to the European Commission, together with all relevant information.
The decision shall be notified, without delay by the concerned regulatory authorities (or by ACER where the decision is taken by ACER), to the Commission, together with all the relevant information with respect to the decision.
The Commission may request to amend or withdraw the decision to grant an exemption. The exemption expires if the construction of the interconnector has not started within two years yet or the interconnector has not become operational within five years. The exemption may be extended if the delay is due to major obstacles beyond the control of the project promoter.