Renewables Obligation (RO)—accreditation of renewable electricity generators
Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson
Renewables Obligation (RO)—accreditation of renewable electricity generators

The following Energy practice note Produced in partnership with Matthew Collinson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Renewables Obligation (RO)—accreditation of renewable electricity generators
  • Why do generators need to be accredited?
  • What is a generating station?
  • How are generating stations accredited?
  • Application for accreditation
  • Preliminary accreditation
  • Full accreditation and the meaning of ‘commissioning’

Why do generators need to be accredited?

The Renewables Obligation (RO) supports investment in renewable generation projects. It does this by placing customer-facing electricity suppliers—who (directly or indirectly) purchase their electricity from generators—under an obligation to source an increasing proportion of their wholesale electricity from renewable sources. The required proportion is set by the Secretary of State (SoS) for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The supplier evidences its purchases of renewable electricity by the submission of ‘Renewable Obligation Certificates’ (ROCs) to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

Electricity suppliers are required to evidence their purchases of renewable energy by submitting ROCs to Ofgem. New ROCs are only issued to accredited renewable generators in order to incentivise suppliers to buy their renewable energy (and accompanying, separately priced ROCs) from renewable projects, thus providing those projects with an element of financial support.

The RO is primarily provided for in the Renewables Obligation Order 2015 (RO Order 2015), SI 2015/1947.

On 31 March 2017 the RO closed to new generation. As a result, subject to a number of ‘grace periods’ afforded to projects meeting specified criteria, no new capacity will now receive accreditation under the RO—whether such capacity is new capacity or capacity added to generation which already holds RO accreditation. The RO will continue to support generators accredited prior to its closure (or within a 'grace period' after

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