The Ministry of Energy published the draft law on the necessary measures for the exploitation of offshore wind energy. It will remain in public consultation for 30 days. The main responsibilities regarding the coordination of the development of offshore wind energy production projects rest with the Ministry of Energy and the Competent Authority for the Regulation of Offshore Oil Operations in the Black Sea (ACROPO).
The Ministry of Energy sets the targets for the development of offshore wind power plants and the support schemes for them. The first will be a support scheme based on Contracts for Difference (CfD) for the construction and operation of offshore wind power plants with an electricity production capacity of 3 GW, until the year 2035. The Ministry of Energy also determines the offshore perimeters that can be tendered for the construction of offshore wind power plants and subsequently coordinate the administration of contracts and data on offshore wind resources communicated by economic agents, including the monitoring of royalty payments and fees established for the concession of offshore perimeters.
If there are not at least 2 economic agents that qualify for participation in the public procurement procedure, the ministry will carry out a direct award procedure with companies interested in exploring marine perimeters.
ACROPO will issue the development approval that serves as a construction/decommissioning authorization for offshore wind power plants and will follow the application of the measures established for the protection of the surface and deep sea area during the construction/decommissioning operations and throughout the operation period of the offshore wind power plants.
Within 6 months from the date of entry into force of the law, ACROPO elaborates and submits for the approval of the Government the way of organization and the specific responsibilities. In the same time frame, the Ministry of Energy will request the approval of the Government for the way of organization and the specific responsibilities.
Within 24 months of the approval of the law, the Ministry of Energy, with the support of a specialist consultant, will carry out a study to determine all the offshore perimeters that can be auctioned. They will be considered
their wind potential, the general conditions for future uses and activities in marine waters included in the environmental opinion issued in the margin of carrying out the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Maritime Space Development Plan, as well as any other restrictions resulting from the consultation of the entities represented in the Committee of maritime space planning. The study will include Guidelines on the implementation of offshore wind power plants, as well as the social and environmental impact studies that must be carried out by an economic operator for each project developed in a certain perimeter.
Within 12 months from the issuance of the Government Decision for the establishment of the the perimeters, the Ministry of Energy establishes, by order of the minister, the list of perimeters that are concessioned for exploration and, subsequently, exploitation, for the construction of 3 GW of offshore wind power generation capacities that will benefit from the CfD type state aid scheme, including the calendar of the concession stages of the respective perimeters.
By January 1, 2027, the Ministry of Energy will develop and approve, by Government decision, the procedures for granting the concession and the exploration permit for offshore perimeters in order to achieve electricity generation capacities from wind sources.
The procedure for awarding the exploration concession will be launched within a maximum of 6 months from the approval of the procedures.
By July 30, 2027, the Ministry of Energy will develop and approve, by Government decision, the procedure for awarding the concession for the exploitation of offshore perimeters by public auction, specifying the criteria for qualification, selection and designation of the winner, as well as any other procedures/regulations necessary for the performance of the grantor’s activity. The procedure is developed with consideration of the granting of an operating aid scheme in the form of the Contracts for Difference financing mechanism for the production of electricity from renewable offshore wind sources.
Commissioning of the offshore wind power plant will take place no later than 7 years from the date of conclusion of the concession contract. If the owner does not put the offshore wind power plant into operation within the stipulated period, the concession contract is considered terminated by law.
Within 6 months from the entry into force of the law, the Ministry of Energy, together with the Ministry of Transport and with the support of other relevant entities, will constitute an interministerial working group in order to develop and promote a plan for the use of Romanian port infrastructure for manufacturing and construction of equipment required for the construction of offshore wind power plants, for use at the national and regional level. The need to rehabilitate/expand the existing facilities will be analyzed, as well as the deadlines so that the respective facilities will be available once the implementation of the projects begins.
Taxes and other obligations
Beyond the payment of general fiscal obligations, holders of concession contracts for the exploitation of offshore wind perimeters will pay a royalty and a fee for the activity of exploitation of wind resources. Their level is to be established by law at a nominal level in lei per km2 per year for the area of the constructed concession perimeter and for the area occupied by the underwater electrical cables connecting to the connection points.
The companies will still have to pay contributions to ANRE and ACROPO, for the documents issued in the exercise of the powers of these bodies: approvals, licenses, building permits, registration documents, decisions to cease activity, association approvals, license transfer approvals, additional documents to licenses, certificates, authorizations or other such documents.
Under equivalent technical and price conditions, concession contract holders are obliged to purchase goods and services from economic operators in Romania and the European Union under the conditions provided for in art. 223 of Law no. 99/2016 on sector purchases, with subsequent amendments and additions.
Holders of concession contracts related to offshore wind farms have the obligation that at least 25% of the average annual number of employees used in order to carry out the contracts are Romanian citizens with tax residence in Romania.