Green Ahead

Reg­u­la­tions, pol­icy and tar­iff or­ders have been is­sued by the re­spec­tive states driven by their own spe­cific re­quire­ments. While im­ple­men­ta­tion takes place in the States, there is a need for some na­tion- wide uni­for­mity.

Power Watch India - - CONTENTS - By V K Gupta

Net Me­ter­ing Pol­icy: Reg­u­la­tions, pol­icy and tar­iff or­ders have been is­sued by the re­spec­tive states driven by their own spe­cific re­quire­ments. While im­ple­men­ta­tion takes place in the States, there is a need for some na­tion-wide uni­for­mity, says V K Gupta, Chief Man­ager – Re­new­ables, ICA In­dia, Mum­bai.

Acon­sumer pays for elec­tric­ity (power im­ported from the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee) con­sumed. After in­stal­la­tion of so­lar roof-top sys­tems, it is ex­pected that the con­sumer will meet all or part of his elec­tric­ity re­quire­ments from such sys­tems and also feed sur­plus power, if any, into the grid (ex­port). Net me­ter­ing in­volves sum­ma­tion of im­port/ex­port of power. Hence, the need to have reg­u­la­tions, pol­icy and tar­iff or­der for such power ex­change.

The avail­abil­ity of a net me­ter­ing pol­icy is use­ful to all stake­hold­ers and most im­por­tantly,

A. Elec­tric­ity con­sumers: Pol­icy is ex­pected to help con­sumers gain­fully utilise their roof-top space with ben­e­fits viz., One - Re­duce de­pen­dence on dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee to the ex­tent pos­si­ble de­pend­ing on the size of the so­lar roof-top sys­tem in­stalled; Two – Re­duce their elec­tric­ity bills due to less im­port and ex­port of sur­plus elec­tri­cal units, if any

B. Dis­tri­bu­tion li­censees: Pol­icy is ex­pected to help dis­tri­bu­tion li­censees im­port re­new­able power to meet their RPO obli­ga­tions and re­duce the

de­mand-sup­ply gap dur­ing peak power

C. So­lar in­dus­try: Man­u­fac­tur­ers of so­lar pan­els, in­vert­ers, ca­bles etc in the so­lar in­dus­try will ben­e­fit from in­creased in­stal­la­tions

D. Na­tional: Due to en­hanced so­lar in­stal­la­tions a pos­i­tive im­pact is ex­pected on cli­mate change through a re­duc­tion in car­bon emis­sions. Var­i­ous states have come up with the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions around key is­sues in­clud­ing ap­pli­ca­bil­ity, el­i­gi­ble con­sumer and in­di­vid­ual plant ca­pac­ity, in­ter­con­nec­tion with grid, wheeling and cross-sub­sidy charge, me­ter­ing ar­range­ment etc. A net me­ter­ing pol­icy of the re­spec­tive State: i) De­fines el­i­gi­ble con­sumers, dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee

and ca­pac­ity of sys­tems ii) Pro­vides guide­lines for in­stal­la­tion of so­lar roof

top sys­tems iii) Clar­i­fies steps for mea­sure­ment of im­port and

ex­port of elec­tric­ity iv) Clar­i­fies im­pli­ca­tion of RPO and el­i­gi­bil­ity of REC v) De­fines set­tle­ment pe­riod and method of set­tle

ment of un­ad­justed elec­tri­cal units.

Sim­i­larly, the ex­tent of ex­emp­tions in wheeling and cross sub­sidy charges vary from state to state. There­fore, na­tion­ally we need to ef­fect min­i­mum changes to make these avail­able reg­u­la­tions, poli­cies and tar­iff or­ders as uni­form as pos­si­ble keep­ing in mind the scope for min­i­mal spe­cific vari­a­tions for states as well.

Brief on Ma­ha­rash­tra State Re­new­able En­ergy Pol­icy

The State gov­ern­ment has come out with a re­new­able en­ergy pol­icy for Ma­ha­rash­tra in June/July 2015 with a fo­cus to source 14400 MW of power from re­new­able en­ergy sources within the next five years. This tar­get of 14400 MW in­cludes 5000 MW of wind power, 7500 MW of so­lar power and the bal­ance is from small hy­del and biomass.

So­lar power

MAHAGENCO, the state gen­er­a­tion util­ity, is ex­pected to in­stall 2500 MW of ground-based so­lar projects and 5000 MW of ground-based so­lar projects with a min­i­mum size of 1 MW (1000 KW) is ex­pected to be put up by dif­fer­ent en­ti­ties on a PPA ba­sis.

Some key as­pects of the state’s net me­ter­ing pol­icy are: a. So­lar roof-top sys­tems can be in­stalled by any power con­sumer in his premises in or­der to meet all or a part of his elec­tric­ity re­quire­ments that are sub­ject to the fol­low­ing lim­its:

For sin­gle phase 230 V sys­tems – 8 KW or 40 Am­peres

For three phase 440 sys­tems – up to 187 KVA in mu­nic­i­pal lim­its and up to 100 KVA be­yond mu­nic­i­pal lim­its

For HT 11 KV sys­tems – above 187 KVA (within Mum­bai lim­its) and above 100 KVA (other ar­eas) but less than 1000 KVA b. Ca­pac­ity of so­lar roof-top sys­tem shall not ex­ceed the con­tract de­mand (in KVA) or the sanc­tioned load (in KW) of the con­sumer. c. Pri­or­ity will be given to so­lar roof-top in­stal­la­tions al­ready in­stalled be­fore an­nounce­ment of the pol­icy and reg­u­la­tions. d. Con­sumer and dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee will en­ter into a 20-year agree­ment which could be ter­mi­nated by ei­ther side with 30 days’ no­tice. e. A net me­ter or a com­bi­na­tion of me­ters ca­pa­ble of record­ing both im­port and ex­port of elec­tric­ity shall be pro­cured, tested and in­stalled by the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee as per reg­u­la­tions spec­i­fied by CEA and fol­low the elec­tric­ity code. The con­sumer can also pro­cure the net me­ter de­pend­ing upon cir­cum­stances but the test­ing and in­stal­la­tion will be done by the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee. f. So­lar en­ergy under this net me­ter­ing ar­range­ment will not be el­i­gi­ble for re­new­able en­ergy cer­tifi­cates. g. So­lar en­ergy under this net me­ter­ing ar­range­ment will qual­ify to be used to meet so­lar re­new­able pur­chase obli­ga­tions (RPOs) of the con­sumer (if he is an ob­li­gated en­tity) for which he is ex­pected to in­stall a so­lar gen­er­a­tion me­ter at his own cost. h. So­lar en­ergy under this net me­ter­ing ar­range­ment will qual­ify to be used to meet so­lar re­new­able pur­chase obli­ga­tions (RPOs) of the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee (if the con­sumer is not an ob­li­gated en­tity and per­mits the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee) for which the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee is ex­pected to in­stall a so­lar gen­er­a­tion me­ter at its own cost. i. Dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee will en­sure that in­ter­con­nec­tion of roof-top so­lar sys­tems with its net­work con­forms to all the spec­i­fi­ca­tions and stan­dards. j. Cu­mu­la­tive ca­pac­ity of all the so­lar rooftop sys­tems con­nected to the dis­tri­bu­tion trans­former will not ex­ceed 40 % of its rated ca­pac­ity. k. If im­port ex­ceeds the ex­port of power dur­ing a billing pe­riod, then the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee shall claim elec­tric­ity dues for the net of elec­tri­cal units from the con­sumer at the pre­vail­ing tar­iff.

l. If im­port is less than ex­port of power dur­ing a billing pe­riod, then the net of elec­tri­cal units will be cred­ited to the con­sumer and car­ried for­ward to the next billing pe­riod for ad­just­ment m. Un­ad­justed elec­tri­cal units at the end of the set­tle­ment pe­riod (from 1st April till 30th March of the next year) will be pur­chased by the dis­tri­bu­tion li­censee at its av­er­age cost of power pur­chase as ap­proved by the reg­u­la­tory com­mis­sion within the first month of the fol­low­ing year n. Hence at the be­gin­ning of each set­tle­ment pe­riod, the quan­tum of elec­tric­ity ex­ported will be re­set to zero.

The au­thor is Chief Man­ager – Re­new­ables , ICA In­dia, Mum­bai.

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