Electricity generation activities will be considered to fall under the ordinary regime whenever they fail to satisfy the requirements for being considered to fall under the special regime. This regime is regulated by articles 21 through 26 of Spanish Law 54/1997 of 27 November, the ‘Electricity Sector Act’.
Ordinary regime electricity generation relies primarily on conventional technologies employed at power plants harnessing energy from coal, fuel oil, natural gas, combined cycles, nuclear, etc.
The special scheme is a treatment granted to the production of electric power proceeding from installations with a power capacity inferior to 50 MW which use renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydraulic and biomass), waste and cogeneration.
A differentiated treatment is granted to this type of generation because it poses a series of advantages in comparison with ordinary systems of power production (nuclear, carbon, fuel, gas, large hydraulic).
In accordance with Royal Decree 661/2007, the owner of the installation may opt to:
According to Article 24.4 of Royal Decree 661/2007: Owners of the installations to which this Royal Decree applies may choose the most convenient option for selling their electricity during a period not less than one year; this option must be communicated to the distributor and the General Directorate for Energy and Mining Policies a minimum of one month in advance with regards to the date of a change between options.
After the publication of Royal Decree 485/2008 and Circular 4/2009 of the National Energy Commission, this notification was made to the National Energy Commission on behalf of the producer or its representative through the methods and formats set forth in the aforementioned Circular.
As of November 1, 2009, all the concepts which were paid for by the distributor shall thereafter be paid for on behalf of the National Energy Commission to the installations operating in the market, or on behalf of its representative for other installations.
Royal Decree 1699/2011 nevertheless contemplates an abbreviated procedure for connecting small-scale power generation facilities, enabling them to connect to an internal grid and affording them the option to sell off produced energy or solely surplus energy. When opting for this procedure, producers must submit a point of access and connection application in keeping with the procedure established in the cited Royal Decree.
When intending to connect the power generation facilities to operate in the capacity of self-consumption or the mechanism known as the Net Balance scheme, producers have to wait until after the regulatory instruments have been fully drafted for this particular distribution model.