On 20 December 2012, the Italian Chamber of Deputies approved Legislative Decree no. 228/2012, known as the Stability Decree 2013. Section 1, paragraph 425 of the Stability Decree 2013 extends the deadline by which photovoltaic (PV) plants built on property belonging to the Public Administration must be connected to the grid in order to benefit from the favourable feed-in tariffs under the Ministerial Decree of 5 May 2011 (the Conto Energia IV).
The transitional rules of Section 1 paragraph 4 of Ministerial Decree of 5 July 2012 (the Conto Energia V) provided that installations on public land or rooftops would only benefit from the Conto Energia IV feed-in tariffs if they were connected to the grid by 31 December 2012. The extension of the deadline protects investments made by and with the Public Administration that were unable to meet the 31 December 2012 deadline and would otherwise have defaulted.
Pursuant to the Stability Decree 2013, in order to benefit from the Conto Energia IV tariffs, PV plants installed on public property will now have to be connected to the grid by the following deadlines:
- 31 March 2013 for all PV plants that are not subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (Valutazione di impatto ambientale)
- 30 June 2013 for all PV plants that are subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (Valutazione di impatto ambientale) and have obtained the relevant building permit on or before 31 March 2013
- 30 October 2013 for all PV plants that are subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (Valutazione di impatto ambientale) and have obtained the relevant building permit after 31 March 2013.
The Stability Decree 2013 does not limit the deadline extensions to property that was owned previously by the Public Administration. The extensions also apply to projects developed on property that the Public Administration will acquire after the new rules come into force.
The overall annual expense cap of €6.7 billion for incentive payments payable to PV plants in Italy has not changed. As a consequence, and notwithstanding the deadline extensions, both the Conto Energia IV and the Conto Energia V will cease to apply 30 days after the announcement by the Italian Authority for Electricity and Gas (AEEG) that the cap has been reached.
Riccardo Narducci, a trainee solicitor in London, also contributed to this article