Luke Hung and Sally Yang
Since the stability of power consumption and the development of renewable energy sources have caught the attention of industries in recent years, the Taiwan Construction and Planning Agency (hereinafter, the “CPA”) of the Ministry of the Interior issued the Nei-Shou-Ying-Jian-Guan-1110802400 Interpretation of February 17, 2022 (hereinafter, the “Interpretation”) to point out that if the structure of the “energy storage systems” of renewable energy meets the definition of the Regulations Governing User’s Deployment of Power Equipment, the Building Act does not apply, and there is no need to apply for a miscellaneous license or review building coverage ratio and floor-area ratio.
Major power users should install energy storage equipment for renewable energy
Under Article 12 of the Renewable Energy Development Act and the Regulations for Managing the Deployment of Renewable Energy Power Generation Equipment by Power Users above a Certain Contract Capacity, which the Ministry of Economic Affairs was authorized by the same article to prescribe and came into force on January 1, 2021, if an electricity consumption agreement signed by a power user has a contract capacity of 5,000 kW or more (who is an compulsory user of renewable energy user or a so-called “major power user”), such a user is required to install on its own or provide space to install renewable energy power generation equipment or energy storage equipment with at least a specific installed capacity, or purchase a certain amount of renewable energy electricity and certificate within five years after being notified by the competent authority of the compulsory installed capacity. In case of failure to perform the above-mentioned obligation, a monetary substitution shall be paid to the competent authority.
Questions as to whether a miscellaneous license should be applied for an energy storage system
In the past, the CPA issued the Nei-Shou-Ying-Jian-Guan-1070813588 Interpretation of August 15, 2018 (hereinafter, the “CPA Interpretation of August 15, 2018”) to point out that Article 7 of the Building Act contains specific provisions on miscellaneous work, and that since the deployment of lithium battery energy storage equipment for photovoltaic equipment does not fall within the scope of application of the above article, there is no need to apply for a miscellaneous license. In comparison, the current Standards for Exempting Miscellaneous License for the Deployment of Renewable Energy Facilities only apply to solar energy hot water system products and photovoltaic power generation equipment and contain certain restrictions on the deployment methods and scales that exempt the application of a miscellaneous license. It appears that the construction authority is more open to the deployment of energy storage devices for renewable energy.
Therefore, the CPA further explained in this Interpretation as follows: An energy storage system is defined in Article 396-65, Subparagraph 4 of the Regulations Governing User’s Deployment of Power Equipment; and if the structure of an energy storage system is covered in such a provision, the Building Act does not apply, according to the CPA Interpretation of August 15, 2018, and there is no need to apply for a miscellaneous license or to review the building coverage ratio and floor-area ratio.
In practice, to avoid contract disputes and violation of laws and regulations, it is still recommended to review the specific contract and the scope of construction to determine if the energy storage equipment or energy storage system meets the definition of an energy storage system under the Regulations Governing User’s Deployment of Power Equipment or if it falls within the scope that requires an application for miscellaneous license under the Building Act because it does not meet the above-mentioned definition.