PV Power

The “Energy Account” incentive system, introduced in Italy by Ministerial Decree of 28 July 2005 (First Energy Account) is changed once again with Ministerial Decree of 5 July 2012 (Fifth Energy Account), which redefines the methods for providing incentives for the production of PV power.

The incentive methods set forth in the Fifth Energy Account will come into force in August 2012.

The decree sets forth that the Fifth Energy Account shall cease to apply 30 calendar days after reaching an indicative cumulative cost of incentives of 6.7 billion euros per year (including costs allocated for plants whose position in the relevant Registries does not exceed the applicable cost limit).

There are also two separate mechanisms for accessing the incentives, based on the type of installation and the nominal power of the plant:

  • direct access;
  • access through the Register.

In the first case, the following categories of plants can directly access the incentive tariffs (“direct access”):

  1. photovoltaic plants with power of up to 50 kW on buildings with modules installed to replace roofs, from which all asbestos lumber and asbestos has been completely removed;
  2. photovoltaic plants with power of no more than 12 kW, including plants installed following renovation, as well as upgrading which leads to an increase in the plant’s power by no more than 12 kW;
  3. building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) with innovative characteristics, until reaching an indicative cumulative cost of the incentives of 50 million euros;
  4. concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), until reaching an indicative cumulative cost of the incentives of 50 million euros;
  5. photovoltaic plants installed by Public Administrations by conducting public tenders, until reaching an indicative cumulative cost of the incentives of 50 million euros;
  6. photovoltaic plants with power of more than 12 kW and up to 20 kW, including plants installed following renovation, as well as upgrading which leads to an increase in the plant’s power by more than 12 kW and up to 20 kW, which require a 20% tariff reduction compared to the tariff applied to the same plants recorded in the Register.

All plants that do not fall within the categories listed above may access the incentives by being registered in an eligible position in the dedicated electronic Registers kept by the national grid operator (“access through the Register”), each of which is characterised by its own cost limit, identified in the Decree.

Announcements for registration in the Registries are published by the national grid operator every six months beginning from the closing date of the first Register, and registration applications must be submitted within the next 60 days.

These regulatory changes have substantially increased the uncertainty surrounding the effective acquisition of the incentive tariffs and their value; as a result, the company deemed it appropriate to significantly decrease its commitment to the development of new initiatives. In light of these strategic decisions, the company initiated procedures to dispose of a significant portion of the photovoltaic plants, which were then transferred to Apollo S.r.l., which was then sold to RTR Capital S.r.l.

Therefore, at the end of the year Arse’s overall activities in the photovoltaic sector are as illustrated in tables 5a, 5b and 5c. These tables show that the total power of the plants remaining in Arse’s portfolio is just over 13 MWp (table 5a), since over 32.5 MWp was sold to the company Apollo S.r.l. (table 5c).

Tab. 5a - ARSE’s PV plant structure (kWp)
GENERAL TOTAL 100% 13,403
Plants connected in 2008 19% 2,498
Plants connected in 2009 25% 3,397
Plants connected in 2010 19% 2,521
Plants connected in 2011 37% 4,987
By geographical area 100% 13,403
BA 22% 2,970
FR 3% 374
LE 18% 2,434
RM 53% 7,110
TR 4% 515
By region 100% 13,403
Lazio 53% 7,110
Puglia 43% 5,778
Umbria 4% 515

While with the plant at Fiera di Rimini, the company constructed turnkey plants with almost 30 (table 5b).

Tab. 5b - "'Turnkey" plants built by Arse (kWp)
GENERAL TOTAL 100% 29,987
Plants connected in 2008 1% 422
Plants connected in 2009 1% 58
Plants connected in 2010 8% 2,487
Plants connected in 2011 76% 22,688
Plants connected in 2012 14% 4,332
By geographical area 100% 29,987
Abruzzo – AQ 3% 767
Calabria – CS 48% 14,486
Marche – MC 3% 727
Tuscany - PO 3% 994
Lazio - RM 28% 8,262
Umbria - TR 1% 419
Emilia Romagna – RN 14% 4,332
Tab. 5c - Plants transferred to Apollo, sold to RTR Capital (kWp)
GENERAL TOTAL 100.0% 32,543
Plants connected in 2009 17.0% 5,468
Plants connected in 2010 33.0% 10,831
Plants connected in 2011 50.0% 16,244
By geographical area 100.0% 32,543
Campania 1.7% 553
Lazio 39.5% 12,863
Puglia 58.8% 19,128

All the plants connected are operating normally and production is in line with forecasts.

In the second part of the year, the national grid operator and the Province of Frosinone reported a slight non-conformity between the plant constructed in the municipality of Villa Latina (one of the plants which is part of the assets sold) and the single authorisation issued during the services conference; as a result of that inconsistency, the authorisation permit is currently being reviewed.