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The CERs - Energy Communities

The "COCER"- Self-consumption configurations for Renewable Energy Sharing, or CER– Community of Renewable Energy, is a private "legal entity", with its own Statute and Internal Regulations, which produces green energy and "virtually" share it with its members.

The CER is defined by Italian legislative decree 199/21 and is regulated by ARERA through the two Resolutions 318/2020/R/EEL and 727/2022/R/eel (which approves the Integrated Text for Widespread Autoconsumption - TIAD) and receives a contribution from the GSE based on the share of energy produced and self-consumed by its members.

 

FOUNDING A CER

CER is established by creating a legal entity whose main aims are environmental, economic, and social benefits.

The rules do not impose a certain legal form, but prescribe that the CER must not have the purpose of profit as its main purpose.

 

The drafting, and approval by the members, of a regulation establishing the modality with which the CER uses the contribution disbursed by the GSE is envisaged:

  1. to cover its management costs such as: administrative management; maintenance of production facilities; fees for the construction of production plants by third parties,

  2. to match a contribution to each member of the CER, usually calculated in proportion to his amount of self-consumption generated in the periI hear.

 

THEPROSUMER MEMBERS OF UNACER

The CER can be established starting from two member subjects.

 

Members can be: citizens, businesses, associations, local authorities, condominiums, the third sector, cooperatives, religious institutions, research institutions, small/medium enterprises. Members cannot carry out the production and exchange of electricity as their main commercial or professional activity.

 

Large companies can be part of the CER, but not receive the Premium Rate share.

 

Participation in the CER is autonomous, open, and voluntary. The members of the CER maintain the right to choose their own electricity service seller and to exit from the CER at any time.

 

Since these subjects are both producers and consumers of energy, they are referred as "PRO-SUMER".

                                        

THE PRODUCTION PLANTS

The production plants must be from "renewable sources". Therefore the technologies can be indifferent: photovoltaic, wind, biogas, biomass, or a mix of these as long as the total maximum power is 1MW.

 

In terms of ownership, the production facility:

  • may be made and owned by CER;

  • be owned by a third-party investor who places it in the "full availability of the CER" on the basis of a valid legal title such as usufruct, contractual titles, or other titles such as the loan for use.

  • can belong to each one of the individual members of the CER, who can build it, or expand its own existing plants (in this case the incentives apply only to the new section of the plant). Only 30% of the total power of the CER can be represented by already existing plants.

 

The CER can also invest in a BESS storage facility capable of storing energy when it is not fully used and releasing it when needed. Thus maximizing the self-consumption of energy and therefore the grants to be received by GSE.

GEOGRAPHICAL EXTENSION OF A CER

Both members of the CER and the production plant can be located at a great distance from each other - provided that they all are connected to the same high/medium voltage Substation.

 

The electricity distributors are required by Law to make the CP area available online.

Following are the links to the web areas of the first two distributors who published the data:

L'VIRTUAL SELF-CONSUMPTION

The self-consumption of a CER is generated by the accounting of only "virtual exchanges" between the members of the same.

 

Members and installations are not physically connected to each other and do not have to be built between these and the consumer members no electrical connection work.

The members continue to pay the bills to their energy suppliers but receive a periodic amount from the CER manager both on the basis of the contributions they receive from the GSE on the basis of self-consumption and of the revenues from the energy fed into the national market network sold.

Which is equivalent in practice to a real reduction on their bill.

 

The only physical installation foreseen at the POD (meter) of the CER members is that of a digital meter capable of detecting and transmitting the energy usage information to the manager of the CER in real-time.

The data will get available to CER member by phone APP that will allow for changing member habits, optimizing their self-consumption of energy and the Premium Rate.

The shared energy in the CER, in one hour, is considered the lower between:

(I)      the sum of the produced energy (kW) of all the plants owned by the CER

and

ii.     the sum of the energy withdrawals (kW) made by the CER members in that given hour.

In the example to the side, the CER, for example, has a single production plant and three types of members, connected to the same CP.

 

In a given hour the plant has injected 50kWh of electricity into the public grid and, in the same hour the three members "absorbed" 55 kWh from the public grid.

The 55 kWh will be billed to them, by their operator, at the contractual cost but, at the same time, the 50 kWh will be considered as the self-consumption of the CER and will generate the Premium Tariff from the GSE.

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THE PREMIUM RATE

The incentived tariff is paid monthly by the GSE from the date of entry into commercial operation of the plant and for 20 years.

The total power eligible for incentives is 5 GW, with a time limit set at the end of 2027.

The formula for calculating the Premium Rate (TP), with reference to the symbols in the table, is:

 

TP = A + max (0; 180 - Pz)

 

  • where Pz is the hourly zone price (PO), i.e. the price formed on the electricity market which varies according to the time in which the energy is fed into the grid and to the zone in which the plant is located;

  • with a Bonus ceiling established for each class of maximum power installed.

To balance the major insolation of the regions in Southern Italy compared to the rest of Central and Northern Italy, the last ones get an increased Premium Tariff as per the table on the right.

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