How Can You Produce & Consume Electricity in Serbia
Guide for prosumers – legal entities and entrepreneurs
The Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources (“Law“) allows entrepreneurs, individuals and legal entities to connect a power plant producing electricity to their installations using renewable energy sources and thus meet their electricity needs in part or in full, as buyer – producer (“Prosumer“). This guide is intended for everyone who wants to embark on this project, but is not sure what awaits them along the way. Whether you are an investor, financier or contractor, this guide will be of great benefit to everyone, but the solutions presented are primarily applicable to Prosumers – legal entities and companies who want to build a solar power plant over 50kV for production and own consumption without electricity storage, i.e., without the use of batteries and connect the production facility to the Electricity Distribution Network of Serbia (“EDS“). In the following, in detail and in stages, we explain the activities that are crucial in this project.
Phase I – Preparatory Activities
The first phase includes the activities of the end buyer related to the design and obtaining of the necessary permits. These activities can be performed by the contractor, if so agreed.
Connection and design conditions and location conditions
The first step is to obtain the conditions for the design and connection to the EDS, i.e., the offprint on the connection of the production facility to the EDS. The end buyer submits the request electronically to EDS at the address for the specific distribution area. The request is accompanied by a conceptual design, prepared in accordance with the Rulebook on the content, manner and procedure of preparation and manner of control of technical documentation according to the class and purpose of facilities (“Rulebook on Technical Documentation“). The competent system operator, in this case the distribution system operator, within ten days issues offprint on the connection of the production facility / conditions for design and connection. Then, a request is submitted for the issuance of location conditions for the construction of a solar power plant. The end buyer initiates the procedure by submitting a request to the competent authority through the information system through which the unified procedure (“CIS“) is conducted. The competent body is the Ministry of Construction, the body of the autonomous province responsible for construction, or the competent body of the local self-government unit, within the established competencies for the implementation of the unified procedure. The request for the issuance of location conditions precedes the decision on the approval for the execution of works. The obligatory attachment to the request is the already mentioned conceptual design, which is a presentation of the planned concept of the building which is made for the needs of obtaining location conditions, and can be part of the urban project for the needs of urban-architectural development in accordance with the Rulebook on Technical Documentation. The conceptual design must show only the data necessary for the issuance of location conditions, or data necessary to determine compliance with the planning document, without elaboration of technical solutions
The request for the issuance of a connection certificate or conditions for design and connection as well as location conditions is submitted by the end buyer (investor) or a person authorized by him.
Preliminary design for the construction of a solar power plant and connection of the solar power plant to the EDS network
Preliminary design is made for the needs of construction and execution of works on the solar power plant, with equipment specification. It consists, among other things, of the main volume, construction project, project of electrical installations with accompanying documentation for obtaining a decision on approval for the execution of works, etc.
Preliminary design is also made for the needs of connecting the solar power plant to the network on the basis of previously issued conditions for design and connection to the EDS. Preliminary design is made in accordance with the Rulebook on Technical Documentation and is necessary to obtain a decision on approval for the execution of works.
Decision on approval for construction works on the solar power plant
The procedure for issuing a decision on approval for the performance of works on a solar power plant is prescribed by the Rulebook on the procedure for conducting the unified procedure electronically. The procedure is initiated by submitting a request to the competent authority through the CIS, as already explained.
The request is accompanied by a preliminary design and proof of payment of the administrative fee for submitting the request and making a decision and fee for the Central Records.
Depending on the case, the request shall be accompanied by additional documentation prescribed by Article 27 of the said rulebook.
Decision on approval for performing works for connection to the EDS network
If the end buyer’s connection with the metering cabinet is not owned by EDS, it is necessary to complete the procedure of taking over the end buyer’s connection device to the fixed assets of EDS before submitting the request for connection, i.e. the end customer to sign the Contract on taking over measuring devices, metering and distribution cabinets, connecting lines, installations and equipment in the metering and distribution cabinet by which EDS performs the specified takeover, in accordance with the Law on Energy.
After the development of the preliminary design, the end buyer submits to the EDS a request for the issuance of approval for the connection of the production facility, electronically to the appropriate e-mail address. The request is accompanied by the preliminary design and technical characteristics of the equipment important for the mutual influence of the facility and the system, which is intended for installation in the production facility. It is also necessary to pay the republic administrative fees for submitting requests and issuing decisions. EDS, with the approval for connection to the end buyer, submits an offer for concluding the Contract for providing services for connection to the electricity distribution system, which defines mutual rights and obligations, deadline and costs related to the construction of the connection device and information on the ID number of metering place. The investor in the construction of the connection device is EDS, which can authorize the end buyer to build the connection device on his behalf, which is regulated by the Contract for providing services for connection to the electricity distribution system.
Phase II – Construction of a Solar Power Plant and Adjustment of the Metering Point
Construction of the production facility is performed according to the Rulebook on special types of facilities and special types of works for which it is not necessary to obtain an act of the competent authority, as well as types of facilities under construction, i.e., types of works performed, based on the decision on approval for construction works, as well as the scope and content and control of the technical documentation that is attached to the request and the procedure carried out by the competent authority. Please note that the installed power of the facility cannot exceed the approved power of the end buyer’s facility connection.
Construction may be performed by legal entities with the appropriate license to perform that activity, in accordance with the approval for connection. In addition to the construction of the production facility, the end buyer bears the cost of adjusting the metering point. After construction of the production facility and adjustment of the metering point, the contractor issues a certificate to the end buyer on the correctness of devices and installations and compliance with regulations and standards, which contains a statement of the responsible contractor, certificates for installed equipment and devices and reports on functional tests. The end buyer submits the said documentation to EDS electronically.
Phase III – Signing a Contract with the Supplier and Trial Operation
The end buyer addresses the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (“EPS“) in order to conclude a contract on complete supply with a net bill. The net billing method is a billing method in which the value of surplus electricity produced from a solar plant delivered to the grid during one billing period, if such a surplus exists, is calculated and charged based on a contract concluded between the end buyer and supplier. The settlement period is one year and lasts from April 1 to March 31 of the following year, and any excess electricity remaining after this period is not subject to payment to the end buyer.
The end buyer submits a request to EDS for temporary connection of the facility to trial operation, accompanied by a concluded contract with EPS or a confirmation of the concluded contract. If, after the internal technical inspection of the connection and the facility itself, EDS concludes that the prescribed conditions are met, EDS issues a decision on approval for temporary connection of the facility, connects to the system and registers the end buyer in the public register of Prosumers.
Phase IV – Permanent Operation and Use Permit
If EDS during the trial operation finds that the production facility is compliant with the issued decision on approval for connection and rules of operation of the system, the Prosumer submits a request for a use permit to the competent authority through the CIS in the unified procedure. After obtaining the decision on the use permit, the Prosumer submits a request for putting the production facility into permanent operation and EDS issues a certificate of permanent connection within three days.
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 Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 40/2021)
 Rulebook on the content, manner and procedure of preparation and manner of control of technical documentation according to the class and purpose of facilities (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 73/2019)
 Rulebook on the procedure of conducting the unified procedure electronically (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 68/2019)
 Law on Energy (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 145/2014, 95/2018 – other law and 40/2021)
 Rulebook on special type of facilities and special type of works for which it is not necessary to obtain an act of the competent authority, as well as types of facilities under construction, ie types of works performed, based on the decision on approval for performance of works, as well as scope and content documentation attached to the request and the procedure carried out by the competent authority (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 102/2020, 16/2021 and 87/2021).