The Finnish Government has on 3 September 2015 put forward a Government Bill amending the Act on Production Subsidy for Electricity Produced from Renewable Energy Sources (1396/2010) to the Finnish Parliament. The relevant amendments are set to enter into force as soon as possible. The Bill includes in all material respects the same amendments that were proposed in the draft Bill that was circulated for comments on 18 June 2015 (please see our previous article regarding the draft Bill: https://www.ww.fi/news/2015/06/possible-amendments-to-finnish-feed-in-tariff-scheme-for-wind-power-plants-circulated-for-comments/#content).
As mentioned in the draft Bill, the aim of the Bill is a controlled closedown of the feed-in tariff scheme for wind power plants. The Bill proposes that a valid tariff quota decision would be required in order for a wind power plant to be accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme. Such a tariff quota decision would be valid no longer than until 1 November 2017. Hence, an application regarding the acceptance into the feed-in tariff scheme must be made prior to 1 November 2017 (and before the relevant wind power plant is taken into commercial use), otherwise the granted tariff quota decision will expire and no more capacity will be released from the total quota. However, the offshore wind power demonstration plant of Tahkoluoto in Pori, which has received investment aid, would be accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme without a tariff quota decision.
According to the Bill, tariff quota decision applications will no longer be approved once the aggregate nominal output of (a) projects accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme, (b) projects granted a tariff quota decision, and (c) the offshore wind power demonstration plant of Tahkoluoto in Pori exceeds the maximum capacity limit of 2,500 MVA for the first time. Further, as described in the draft Bill, producers of electricity would no longer have to file written notifications with the Energy Authority in advance regarding decisions to build wind, biogas or wood fuel power plants. As stipulated in the current act, the granting of a tariff quota decision requires inter alia that all relevant building and action permits have become legally valid and that a relevant grid connection agreement has been entered into.
Currently, the nominal output of wind power capacity accepted into the feed-in tariff scheme is nearly 1,000 MVA and tariff quota decisions have already been granted for a nominal output of nearly 900 MVA. In addition, tariff quota decision applications covering a nominal output of approximately 1,390 MVA are pending, but as a result of the maximum capacity limit, only applications covering approximately 600 MVA may be granted a tariff quota decision.
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