Herausgeber: Sterr-Kölln & Partner mbB
Positive signals to the French wind industry
Paris/Freiburg/Berlin - On March 29, the French Ministry of Environment has announced a new model French power purchase agreement (contrat d’achat). The power purchase agreement (the \"PPA\") has been published on the EDF Website.
The new model PPA provides us with the possibility of executing the power purchase agreement when the grid connection agreement (contrat de raccordement) has been received. The PPA, if executed at an early stage, will enter into force at industrial commissioning (mise en service). The PPA’s fifteen year term will be calculated as of industrial commissioning and not from the date of its execution. The beneficiary will thus profit from the fifteen year term as of industrial commissioning.
Early execution of the power purchase agreement shall facilitate financing efforts in France. Financing of wind projects has been lagging since 2012 due to the current proceedings (now pending before the Luxembourg court) concerning the tariff securization structure.
In its initial draft of the model PPA, the EDF has tried to insert new provisions into the model contract that are less favorable to the beneficiary (penalties, early termination) and outside the scope of the early execution clause. This attempt has been squashed by the mobilization of the French wind industry associations.
There are provisions with respect to project installation controls that have managed to remain in the new model PPA. The exact application of the control provisions are still under discussion between EDF and the wind industry associations.
The French wind industry has also received support from the parliament. On April 11, the French Conseil constitutionnel has approved the legal provisions with respect to the wind industry contained in the French law in preparation of the energy transition, known as the \"Brottes Law\" (loi visant à préparer la transition vers un système énergétique sobre et portant diverses dispositions sur la tarification de l’eau et sur les éoliennes - sogn. \"Loi Brottes\").
The Conseil constitutionnel has approved the deletion of the ZDE (zone de developpement) and the possibility of installing less than 5 (five) wind turbines in a given park. These two legal obstacles to project development have now been overcome and are no longer criteria to grant a power purchase certificate.
The law to be promulgated will enter into force immediately and does not contain any transitory measures.
Many of the clauses not concerning wind energy have been declared unconstitutional. The question now remains whether the law will be published in the near future (containing only the constitutional measures which would significantly amputate the legal text) with such favorable provisions with respect to the wind industry.
\"It remains a positive signal to the wind industry after a challenging year.\" says Sibylle Weiler, Partner of Sterr Kölln & Partner.
Sterr-Kölln & Partner is a multidisciplinary firm of consultants having offices in Paris, Berlin and Freiburg, whose activity is concentrated in the renewable energy field for over 15 years. The advisors of Sterr-Kölln and Partner are recognized by banks with an international scope, investors, project developers and the local communities.
Paris/Freiburg/Berlin, 15 April, 2013
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