Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on common rules for the internal market for electricity and amending Directive 2012/27/EU, Article 38, Recitals 47, 66
This Directive empowers Member States to allow citizen energy communities to become distribution system operators either under the general regime or as ‘closed distribution system operators’. Once a citizen energy community is granted the status of a distribution system operator, it should be treated as, and be subject to the same obligations as, a distribution system operator. The provisions of this Directive on citizen energy communities only clarify aspects of distribution system operation that are likely to be relevant for citizen energy communities, while other aspects of distribution system operation apply in accordance with the rules relating to distribution system operators.
Where a closed distribution system is used to ensure the optimal efficiency of an integrated supply that requires specific operational standards, or where a closed distribution system is maintained primarily for the use of the owner of the system, it should be possible to exempt the distribution system operator from obligations which would constitute an unnecessary administrative burden because of the particular nature of the relationship between the distribution system operator and the system users. Industrial sites, commercial sites or shared services sites such as train station buildings, airports, hospitals, large camping sites with integrated facilities, and chemical industry sites can include closed distribution systems because of the specialised nature of their operations.
Closed distribution systems
1. Member States may provide for regulatory authorities or other competent authorities to classify a system which distributes electricity within a geographically confined industrial, commercial or shared services site and does not, without prejudice to paragraph 4, supply household customers, as a closed distribution system if:
(a) for specific technical or safety reasons, the operations or the production process of the users of that system are integrated; or
(b) that system distributes electricity primarily to the owner or operator of the system or their related undertakings.
2. Closed distribution systems shall be considered to be distribution systems for the purposes of this Directive. Member States may provide for regulatory authorities to exempt the operator of a closed distribution system from:
(a) the requirement under Article 31(5) and (7) to procure the energy it uses to cover energy losses and the non-frequency ancillary services in its system in accordance with transparent, non-discriminatory and market-based procedures;
(b) the requirement under Article 6(1) that tariffs, or the methodologies underlying their calculation, are approved in accordance with Article 59(1) prior to their entry into force;
(c) the requirements under Article 32(1) to procure flexibility services and under Article 32(3) to develop the operator's system on the basis of network development plans;
(d) the requirement under Article 33(2) not to own, develop, manage or operate recharging points for electric vehicles; and
(e) the requirement under Article 36(1) not to own, develop, manage or operate energy storage facilities.
3. Where an exemption is granted under paragraph 2, the applicable tariffs, or the methodologies underlying their calculation, shall be reviewed and approved in accordance with Article 59(1) upon request by a user of the closed distribution system.
4. Incidental use by a small number of households with employment or similar associations with the owner of the distribution system and located within the area served by a closed distribution system shall not preclude an exemption under paragraph 2 being granted.