Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/631 of 14 April 2016 establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of generators (Text with EEA relevance)

Original version:<a href='/vid/commission-regulation-eu-2016-843241732'>Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/631 of 14 April 2016 establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of generators (Text with EEA relevance)</a>



Official Journal of the European Union

L 112/1


of 14 April 2016

establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of generators

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003 (1), and in particular Article 6(11) thereof,



The swift completion of a fully functioning and interconnected internal energy market is crucial to maintaining security of energy supply, increasing competitiveness and ensuring that all consumers can purchase energy at affordable prices.


Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 sets out non-discriminatory rules governing access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity with a view to ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market in electricity. In addition Article 5 of Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (2) requires that Member States or, where Member States have so provided, regulatory authorities ensure, inter alia, that objective and non-discriminatory technical rules are developed which establish minimum technical design and operational requirements for the connection to the system. Where requirements constitute terms and conditions for connection to national networks, Article 37(6) of the same Directive requires regulatory authorities to be responsible for fixing or approving at least the methodologies used to calculate or establish them. In order to provide system security within the interconnected transmission system, it is essential to establish a common understanding of the requirements applicable to power-generating modules. Those requirements that contribute to maintaining, preserving and restoring system security in order to facilitate proper functioning of the internal electricity market within and between synchronous areas, and to achieve cost efficiencies, should be regarded as cross-border network issues and market integration issues.


Harmonised rules for grid connection for power-generating modules should be set out in order to provide a clear legal framework for grid connections, facilitate Union-wide trade in electricity, ensure system security, facilitate the integration of renewable electricity sources, increase competition and allow more efficient use of the network and resources, for the benefit of consumers.


System security depends partly on the technical capabilities of power-generating modules. Therefore regular coordination at the level of the transmission and distribution networks and adequate performance of the equipment connected to the transmission and distribution networks with sufficient robustness to cope with disturbances and to help to prevent any major disruption or to facilitate restoration of the system after a collapse are fundamental prerequisites.


Secure system operation is only possible if there is close cooperation between power-generating facility owners and system operators. In particular, the functioning of the system under abnormal operating conditions depends on the response of power-generating modules to deviations from the reference 1 per unit (pu) values of voltage and nominal frequency. In the context of system security, the networks and the power-generating modules should be considered as one entity from a system engineering point of view, given that those parts are interdependent. Therefore, as a prerequisite for grid connection, relevant technical requirements should be set for power-generating modules.


Regulatory authorities should consider the reasonable costs effectively incurred by system operators in the implementation of this Regulation when fixing or approving transmission or distribution tariffs or their methodologies or when approving the terms and conditions for connection and access to national networks in accordance with Article 37(1) and (6) of Directive 2009/72/EC and with Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009.


Different synchronous electricity systems in the Union have different characteristics which need to be taken into account when setting the requirements for generators. It is therefore appropriate to consider regional specificities when establishing network connection rules as required by Article 8(6) of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009.


In view of the need to provide regulatory certainty, the requirements of this Regulation should apply to new generating facilities but should not apply to existing generating modules and generating modules already at an advanced stage of planning but not yet completed unless the relevant regulatory authority or Member State decides otherwise based on evolution of system requirements and a full cost-benefit analysis, or where there has been substantial modernisation of those generating facilities.


The significance of power-generating modules should be based on their size and their effect on the overall system. Synchronous machines should be classed on the machine size and include all the components of a generating facility that normally run indivisibly, such as separate alternators driven by the separate gas and steam turbines of a single combined-cycle gas turbine installation. For a facility including several such combined-cycle gas turbine installations, each should be assessed on its size, and not on the whole capacity of the facility. Non-synchronously connected power-generating units, where they are collected together to form an economic unit and where they have a single connection point should be assessed on their aggregated capacity.


In view of the different voltage level at which generators are connected and their maximum generating capacity, this Regulation should make a distinction between different types of generators by establishing different levels of requirements. This Regulation does not set the rules to determine the voltage level of the connection point to which the power-generating module shall be connected.


The requirements applicable to type A power-generating modules should be set at the basic level necessary to ensure capabilities of generation with limited automated response and minimal system operator control. They should ensure that there is no large-scale loss of generation over system operational ranges, thereby minimising critical events, and include requirements necessary for widespread intervention during system-critical events.


The requirements applicable to type B power-generating modules should provide for a wider range of automated dynamic response with greater resilience to operational events, in order to ensure the use of this dynamic response, and a higher level of system operator control and information to utilise those capabilities. They ensure an automated response to mitigate the impact of, and maximise dynamic generation response to, system events.


The requirements applicable to type C power-generating modules should provide for a refined, stable and highly controllable real-time dynamic response aiming to provide principle ancillary services to ensure security of supply. Those requirements should cover all system states with consequential detailed specification of interactions of requirements, functions, control and information to utilise those capabilities and ensure the real-time system response necessary to avoid, manage and respond to system events. Those requirements should also provide for sufficient capability of generating modules to respond to both intact and system disturbed situations, and should provide the information and control necessary to utilise generation in different situations.


The requirements applicable to type D power-generating modules should be specific to higher voltage connected generation with an impact on control and operation of the entire system. They should ensure stable operation of the interconnected system, allowing the use of ancillary services from generation Europe-wide.


The requirements should be based on the principles of non-discrimination and transparency as well as on the principle of optimisation between the highest overall efficiency and lowest total cost for all involved parties. Therefore those requirements should reflect the differences in the treatment of generation technologies with different inherent characteristics, and avoid unnecessary investments in some geographical areas in order to take into account their respective regional specificities. Transmission system operators (‘TSOs’) and distribution system operators (‘DSOs’) including closed distribution system operators (‘CDSOs’) can take those differences into account when defining the requirements in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation, whilst recognising that the thresholds which determine whether a system is a transmission system or a distribution system are established at the national level.


Due to its cross-border impact, this Regulation should aim at the same frequency-related requirements for all voltage levels, at least within a synchronous area. That is necessary because, within a synchronous area, a change in frequency in one Member State would immediately impact frequency and could damage equipment in all other Member States.


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