June 7 (Renewables Now) - Spain has been ordered to pay the full compensation requested by NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE) for making retroactive changes to its feed-in-tariff (FiT) system resulting in the US utility’s lost investments in two planned solar projects.
In the arbitration case that NextEra Energy’s Dutch units filed before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the tribunal awarded the company EUR 290.6 million (USD 327.5m) plus interest in compensation. In addition, Spain should pay for NextEra’s costs of the dispute proceedings and one-third of the legal expenses.
When the tribunal delivered its decision in March this year, it sided with NextEnergy’s argument that Spain had failed to comply with its obligation under the Energy Charter Treaty. The ruling said that Spain did not protect the company’s legitimate expectations upon which it made its investment decisions.
In order to further force Spain to abide by the ICSID ruling, NextEnergy filed earlier this month a petition with a US district court requesting that the awarded amount is confirmed, according to documents posted in the legal database Italaw.
NextEra Energy, via its Dutch companies, planned to invest more than EUR 600 million in two 49.9-MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in the Spanish region of Extremadura. However, when Spain abolished the FiTs, the company had to close its subsidiary in the country after writing off EUR 263 million.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.13)