In one of its recent judgements, the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) has interpreted the question whether photovoltaic power plants (PPP) and the land on which they are built constitute a integrated object to property rights.
The facts on the case
In 2009, an investor acquired agricultural land with for construction of a photovoltaic power plant. The construction of the PPP started at the end of 2010 and was completed in March 2011. Along with the construction works, an agreement for connection of the PPP to the electricity grid was signed in March. The PPP was handed over in April 2011 with an agreement for guaranteed purchase of the electricity produced for a period of 20 years.
The construction of the PPP was financed with a loan from another company. The loan was guaranteed with a pledge over the investor’s commercial enterprise. The lender commenced a procedure for the sale of the commercial enterprise in April 2011. At that time, the lender’s claim was not mature. However, the land, together with the PPP built on it, was put up for public sale and sold to a third party in August the same year.
It was found by final court judgments that the lender was not entitled to sell the investor’s business enterprise on the date the procedure was initiated and that the lender, through its director, acted in bad faith and caused damage to the investor.
Therefore, the investor brought an action against the lender and the buyers of the land plots together with the PPP to declare its ownership over land plots and to transfer their possession.
The legal dispute in the case focuses, on the question whether the PPP and the land on which they are built constitute an integrated object to property rights.
The SCC held that the PPP built in compliance with all legal requirements of the SDA and the EA, as a system of facilities, the land on which they are installed, their connection to the electricity transmission and distribution grid in the state, represent an integrated object to property rights, without stating specific arguments for this.
On the basis of this conclusion, the SCC dismissed the case on the claims for protection of the property rights over the land plots.