Procedures required for photovoltaic solar installations in Spain

The procedures for the approval of photovoltaic solar installations in Spain are complex. We summarize the most relevant steps to follow, as well as the necessary documentation to provide.

Identification of land or roofs

When starting the process of installing a photovoltaic solar park, the first step is to identify a site, either land or roof, that meets the appropriate technical and economic conditions.

In both cases, it is essential that the surface is well oriented and has an access point to the network according to the required technical characteristics.

A previous study of the terrain is essential since, as a general rule, it will be necessary to obtain a licence from the Autonomous Community where the photovoltaic solar park is to be installed.

Subsequently, and once the surface is located, the operation will have to be approached from a legal point of view, proceeding to the purchase, lease or transfer of a surface right over the land where the project is to be developed.

Guarantee

For those projects in which certain power thresholds are exceeded, the previous deposit of a guarantee will be mandatory, which will act in the form of an economic guarantee of the project. Therefore, it is not only convenient to know in advance the expected power of the project, but it is completely necessary, since the amount of the mentioned guarantee will be proportional to the expected power for the project.

Connection point

This is the most relevant phase in the procedure of the photovoltaic solar installation in Spain.

The applicable regulations in Spain are diverse and complement each other according to the specific activity to be carried out:

  • Royal Decree 1699/2011, of 18 November, which regulates the connection to the low power electricity production network
  • Royal Decree 413/2014, which regulates the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, cogeneration and waste
  • Royal Decree 900/2015, which regulates the administrative, technical and economic conditions for the supply of electricity for self-consumption and production for self-consumption.

Documentation to obtain the connection point

The documentation that the developer must submit to the distribution company is the following one:

  • Project drafted and approved by an expert in the sector
  • Payment receipt of the corresponding fees
  • Administrative documentation
  • Proposed connection point
  • Manager’s report of the distribution network area.

For installations with a power greater than 1 MW or that form part of a grouping with a power greater than 1 MW, the regulation requires, as a prerequisite for the start of any application, a favourable report from a System Operator from the perspective of the transport network.

In Spain Red Eléctrica España, S.A. is the operator responsible for guaranteeing third parties access to the transport network with objectivity, transparency and non-discrimination.

Approval of the project by the Autonomous Community

For the approval of the project by the Autonomous Community, the promoter must:

  • Request administrative authorisation and approval of the execution project by the competent regional body
  • Provide the distributing company with a copy of the administrative authorisation request, justification of the presentation of the basic project and implementation programme to the corresponding Autonomous Community
  • Deliver the administrative authorisation and the approval of the project by the relevant Autonomous Community to the distribution company.

Once these steps have been completed, the developer will be able to start the implementation of the photovoltaic park concluding with the registration in the Administrative Register of Electrical Energy Production Facilites (link 27 2019).

Andrea García

This article is not considered as legal advice

Manuel Alvarez

Manuel Álvarez-Sala graduated from the Complutense University of Madrid with a Law degree. His practice areas are energy law, commercial law and civil procedural law. Manuel Álvarez-Sala