On 13 January, 2011 the Administrative Court of Milan (TAR Lombardia) issued a series of preliminary injunctions whereby it suspended resolution no. 125/10 of the Italian Energy Authority (AEEG).
AEEG resolution no. 125/10 amended resolution no. 99/08 regarding the conditions and procedure for the connection of energy plants to the transmission grid (TICA). The resolution was a targeted reaction to speculation on grid capacity and access points that had recently emerged in Italy and which led to a "virtual" paralysis of the grid. In particular, in order to deter speculative requests for grid connection from projects that only exist on paper and would never be carried out, AEEG resolution no. 125/10 had introduced some severe financial requirements.
As a condition for the assignment of a grid connection point and grid capacity, the applicants would have to deliver a cautionary deposit of 30% of the estimated cost for the construction of the grid connection plant, irrespective of whether the applicants themselves would take over the construction works or leave them to be carried out by the grid operator.
Moreover, if the connection to the grid was requested in an area where the existing capacity was close to being exhausted (so-called "critical areas"), the applicant would have to deliver an additional, deposit or bank guarantee for each MWp of production capacity. The cautionary deposit or bank guarantee would amount to Euro 20,150.-/MWp for high voltage grid connections, Euro 60,000.-/MWp for medium voltage grid connections and Euro 110.-/kWp for low voltage grid connections.
While most operators agreed that effective mechanisms must be enacted to combat the speculation on grid capacity and free the system from unrealistic connection requests, the new rules have been widely perceived as excessive and as creating a substantial obstacle to the development, in particular, of renewable energy plants in Italy.
TAR Lombardia has now ordered the temporary suspension of AEEG resolution no. 125/10 until a final decision is made on its merits. The hearing on the merits is called for 30 June, 2011. In the meantime, the transmission and local distribution grid managers (mainly Terna and ENEL) may not request the afore described financial guarantees as a condition for the assignment or maintenance of grid capacity and connection points.