Energy cooperative is a cooperative engaged in generating electricity, producing bio-gas or heat in RES installations owned by the cooperative or its members and balancing the demand exclusively for the needs of the cooperative and its members.
Establishing an energy cooperative can be a guarantee of stable electricity prices in the long term (for both generators and consumers), as well as a way to reduce, among other things, the variable fees associated with electricity distribution, as well as the RES fee, the capacity fee and the co-generation fee.
Necessary conditions for a cooperative generating electricity include:
- connection of all members to the electricity distribution network (voltage lower than 110 kV) of the same DSO,
- operating in the area of a rural or urban-rural municipality or in the area of no more than 3 such municipalities directly neighboring each other,
- having from 3 (legal entites) or 10 (physical persons) to 1,000 members;
- generating electricity from RES sources with a total installed capacity allowing to cover annually min. 70% of the cooperative’s and its members’ own needs
- total installed capacity of RES installations up to 10 MW,
- obtaining an entry in the register of energy cooperatives kept by the Director General of KOWR.
In late December, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development prepared a draft of legal amendments covering the legal definition, object and scope of energy cooperatives in Poland, as well as issues related to billing rules.