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One in ten photo-voltaic power plants found faulty by regulator

The Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) has inspected 372 companiesoperating photovoltaic power plants so far; and plans to make 18 more inspections next week. Problems were found with some 10 percent of scrutinized companies.

The Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) has inspected 372 companies
operating photovoltaic power plants so far; and plans to make 18 more inspections next week. Problems were found with some 10 percent of scrutinized companies.

"We found several faults during the inspections,” ÚRSO head Jozef Holjenčík said, as quoted by SITA newswire. “What is bewildering is that the companies inspected received their final building approvals and went through all tests and in spite of this, the power facilities are yet uncompleted.”

According to him the facilities were clearly not finished. He found panels and constructions were missing, and switchboards not connected. They were not able to produce the stated amount of electricity because the specific output of the panels was not installed, Holjenčík said.

ÚRSO also discovered administrative flaws. In spite of missing documentation the plant was declared operational, SITA wrote, adding that the authority discovered similar faults in the networks of all three electricity distributors, among others in Trebišov, Michalovce, Rimavská Sobota and Komárno counties.

Businesses have allegedly been motivated by the offer of a price seven times higher than other prices on the market for electricity generated in solar plants. However, they would only be eligible for this if they managed to build the power plant by the end of June.

At the beginning of this week, Economy Minister Juraj Miškov announced that his ministry was planning to file a criminal complaint based on speculations concerning photovoltaic power plants connected to the national grid.

As the minister told journalists, his department suspects that some solar power plants could have been connected at odds with the law-set criteria and benefit from generous
feed-in tariffs.

"We will do everything possible to ensure that every power plant is connected in accordance with the law. Power plant operators should not be able to benefit from being connected to the grid on a spurious tariff, or be able to receive subsidized prices of electric power because of an incorrect price decision,” Miškov said. “It is not reasonable for us to pay higher electricity prices just because of a few cheaters."

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