Bulgaria supports wind and storage projects with New Grid Connection Ordinance


Following the recent legislative amendments in the Energy Act and the Energy from Renewable Sources Act of 2023 and 2024, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission adopted a new Ordinance No. 6 on the connection of energy sites to the grids of 28 March 2024 (the “New Ordinance”).

The changes in the New Ordinance mainly relate to: (i) introduction of new rules for grid connection rules of storage facilities; (ii) amendments of the current grid connection procedure for RES producers such as securing a grid connection opinion solely on the grounds of in rem rights, removal of the firm term of the final grid connection agreement and increasing the installed capacity for connecting to the transmission system operator being Electricity System Operator (“ESO”) to be above 10 MW, compared to the current threshold being 5 MW.

1. Rules for grid connection of storage facilities

Subsequent to the electricity storage legislative amendment[i], the New Ordinance shall settle the rules and procedures for the connection the electricity storage facilities to the grids.

Like the procedure applicable for the production sites, the new one for grid connection of storage facilities also envisages the following three stages: (i) opinion by the grid operator with term of validity 1 year; (ii) preliminary grid connection agreement with term of validity; and (iii) final grid connection agreement.

The grid connection procedure for sites up to 1 MW including shall be initiated before the territorial competent distribution system operator, while for projects above 1 MW – before a grid operator chosen by the applicant in the respective territory.

It is to be highlighted that under the New Ordinance no grid connection procedure shall be initiated for projects where the storage facility shall be constructed on new or operational sites or where there shall be no amendment of the connected capacity of the production or consumption site.

The introduction of these rules designated to storage facilities answers a number of questions that have that arose with their initial implementation in the legislation.

2. Amended rules for RES producers

Under the provisions of the New Ordinance developers are entitled to initiate grid connection procedure on the basis of in rem rights over the project land, compared to the previous regime that required a design visa or detailed development plant entered into force regarding the project land. This amendment is a step forward allowing the investors to have the preliminary grid connection agreement secured and within its validity term to perform the necessary zoning procedure. Though, these amendments will not favour sufficiently the development of the wind projects since from practical perspective the 2-year validity term of the preliminary agreement often does not suffice for the developers to complete the zoning and environmental procedures.

Another positive sign is the absence of firm limitation of the validity term of the final grid connection agreement, while for comparison the current regime envisaged the final grid connection agreements to remain valid for 3 years.

In terms of connectivity under the New Ordinance all projects above 10 MW shall be connected ESO’s grid, while in accordance with the current amendment those up to 10 MW including shall be connection to the distribution grids. The previous threshold for connection to ESO was 5 MW.

The connection of RES production sites for which a preliminary contract or final grid connection agreement has been secured until 13 October 2023 are subject to the current grid connection rules.

The Ordinance was promulgated in the State Gazette, issue 28, and is in force from 2 April 2024.


[i] For more details on the electricity storage, follow this link Bulgaria to develop electricity storage to enhance development of renewables sector