Local communities in Germany have the option of using ground-mounted solar power systems through simplified contracts for existing systems or new, enhanced system contracts.
Following the approval of Germany’s 2021 Renewable Energy Act (EEG), solar park operators have been allowed to offer local municipalities a financial share of the kilowatt-hours fed into the grid. The recently amended EEG 2023 extends this possibility to new and existing systems.
The free model contracts at www.sonne-sammeln.de/mustervertrag provide legal clarity on how this option can be regulated. The agreements contain a simplified version of the existing systems, an agreement on new and enhanced systems, an additional form explaining the content of the agreement, and additional information to ensure a legally secure agreement.
The Association of Energy Market Developers (BNE) started the development of a model agreement with the participation of the Association of German Cities and Municipalities (DStGB), the Association of the German Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) and local public organizations in Germany. Utilities (VKU).
According to the BNE, a ground-mounted solar power system with a capacity of 50 MW can result in an annual payment of 100,000 euros ($107.4 million) to the community budget. BNE CEO Robert Busch said increased participation in the energy transition will benefit structurally weak areas and drive acceptance, ensuring local communities, farmers and biodiversity benefit from solar.
Gerd Landsberg, Director General of the DStGB, urged the operators to promptly deliver the bids to the affected communities, streamlining the process of financial participation and minimizing red tape. Local acceptance of the energy transition is crucial for the solar sector to achieve its ambitious expansion goals.
Wieland Lehnert of law firm Becker Büttner Held (BBH) pointed out that the updated model agreement contains a completely new legal framework. The updated supplement covers legal issues related to the contract for all parties.