Finalizing the legal framework for easier construction of renewable energy facilities
The Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning, and Urbanism of Montenegro („Ministry“) enacted a Rulebook on closer criteria for the assessment of requests for the issuance of urbanistic-technical conditions for the construction of facilities for the production of electricity from renewable sources of the sun and other renewable sources (“Rulebook”). The Rulebook entered into force on the day of its publication in the Official Gazette of Montenegro, i.e., on 12 October 2022.
The Rulebook was enacted following the recent changes in the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction of Montenegro („Law“) in August 2022, which were passed to encourage the construction of facilities producing electricity from renewable sources of the sun and other renewable sources. The Law prescribes that, until the enactment of the general regulation plan of Montenegro, the Government of Montenegro may enact urbanistic-technical conditions upon obtaining the opinions of state authorities responsible for environmental protection, agriculture, and forestry, as well as the opinions of the authorities responsible for the protection of cultural assets on which the land is located and the legal entities responsible for the conditions of connection to the infrastructure.
The Rulebook envisaged that the competent state authority for spatial planning shall assess the request for the issuance of urbanistic-technical conditions for a solar, wind, or hydro powerplant, which is built independently, based on the following criteria: (i) it has the power of at least 1MW, (ii) that a study of the measurement of the sun, wind, or the hydrological regime of watercourses has been provided, (iii) that the powerplant is not built on agricultural land I-IV category i.e. on forests land, (iv) that the powerplant is not built in protected areas, (v) that an access road is secured.
Furthermore, as an exception from the above criteria prescribed for independent objects, the competent authority shall assess the request for urbanistic-technical conditions for the solar powerplant which is built on another object based on the following criteria: (i) the powerplant has a maximum power of 1MW, (ii) it is built in accordance with the law, (iii) the study of the measurement of the sun has been provided.
Each of the above-mentioned criteria is awarded one point. Consequently, in accordance with the requests for the issuance of the urbanistic-technical conditions for (i) the independent object – solar, wind, or hydro powerplant which fulfills all five criteria (awarded with five points), i.e. for (ii) the solar powerplant built on another object which fulfills all three criteria (awarded with three points), the competent authority shall prepare the proposal of the act on the issuance of urbanistic-technical conditions. Accordingly, the urbanistic-technical conditions shall be issued by the Government of Montenegro.