Amendment to the Act on Investments in Wind Power Plants

1 January 2023

On 9 March 2023, the Polish Parliament adopted an awaited amendment to the Act concerning the development of onshore wind power investments in Poland. The most frequently commented change is naturally the modification of the so-called 10H rule, i.e. rule allowing (after fulfilling several conditions) the possibility to locate, build or reconstruct wind power plants at a distance of less than ten times the total height of the wind power plant from a residential building or a building with a mixed function. However, this is not the only significant amendment to the onshore legislation. We invite you to read on!

In the amendment, the legislator did not just modify the 10H rule but also introduced a whole range of additional provisions which have a real impact on the operation of the onshore wind energy sector in Poland. Therefore, the scope of the Act has been significantly extended to include not only the conditions and procedures for the location, construction and reconstruction of wind power plants, but also issues concerning the consultation process for investments with the local community, principles for the location of new residential buildings or the location, construction and reconstruction of high-voltage networks in the neighbourhood of wind power plants. In addition, the Act includes provisions on the participation of municipal residents in the benefits arising from the location of wind power plants and rules on the safe operation of devices and technical elements included in a wind power plant. The legislator has also extended legal terminology by introducing new legal definitions.

Operators are required to develop annual curtailment plans for customers connected to their network. Such plans are also subject to approval by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office. However, possible limits on the supply and off-take of electricity apply, in principle, only to electricity consumers with respect to their facilities, for which the total contracted capacity specified in the contracts is at least 300 kW. The provisions of the Regulation provide, however, numerous exceptions for facilities related to ensuring the security of the state and its citizens.

The level of planned restrictions on the supply and off-take of electricity is defined in the so-called power supply degrees marked for electricity from the 11th to the 20th degree. In the case of the introduction of the 11th degree of supply, consumers may consume power in the facility at the maximum volume resulting from the concluded agreements. The 20th degree, on the other hand, means the obligation to use the minimum consumption power indicated in the plans. Restrictions on the supply and off-take of electricity constitute a national measure to mitigate the electricity crisis and the curtailment plans constitute a national preparatory measure, in accordance with EU legislation.

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Marek Grzywacz, Ph.D., Counsel