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Delhi announces net-metering regulations

After nearly two years of waiting, Delhi’s net-metering policy is finally in place. Delhiites with solar rooftop systems, will be able to supply excess solar energy to the grid. This will earn them energy credits, which can be adjusted against their electricity bills. On September 2, 2014 the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) announced the “Net Metering for Renewable Energy Regulations” (the document can be accessed here). It is expected to be enforced within a week of announcement.

  • The distribution licensee shall connect renewable energy systems with a minimum capacity of 1 kWp
  • Energy supplied to the grid will be adjusted in the monthly bill. Any remaining net energy credits at the end of financial year will be adjusted at DERC decided tariffs (to be specified)
  • The net metering policy has a contradiction with the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) regulations that needs to be resolved immediately

General conditions: Connectivity of the distribution network to renewable energy systems will be provided on a first come first serve basis and will be subject to several constraints including available capacity at a particular distribution transformer and the sanctioned load of the consumer of the premises. In case the capacity of renewable energy system is greater than the sanctioned load for the premises, the consumer of the premises will have to expand their sanctioned load by paying extra “service line cum development” (SLD) charges. The minimum capacity of the renewable energy system is 1 kWp.

Metering arrangement: Two distinct meters will have to be installed at the premises. The renewable energy meter for accounting the energy produced and the net meter for accounting the net import/export of energy by the consumer. The cost for procuring, testing and installing the net meters will be borne by the consumer of the premises whereas that of the renewable energy meter will be borne by the distribution licensee.

Billing and energy accounting: The energy exported to the grid by the consumers during a billing cycle will be adjusted in the consumer’s bill for that billing cycle. In case the energy exported is more than that consumed, the surplus units will be carried forward to the next billing period. At the end of each financial year, any net energy credits that remain will be adjusted to the consumer as per the rates decided by DERC. This is a first of its kind measure amongst the states with a net metering policy in India. RE systems under net metering have been exempted from various charges like wheeling, banking and cross subsidy charges for a five year period.

REC and RPO’s: According to the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) regulation, REC’s can’t be issued to a generator if the generated power fulfils the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of an obligated entity. However, in DERC’s net metering regulation, the power supplied to the grid will fulfil the RPO of the distribution licensee and the consumers have been allowed to apply for RECs. On this point further deliberation and clarity is required from DERC.

With around 250-300 sunny days and an average insolation of 5.31 kWh/day/m2 rooftop solar was a logical and inevitable choice for the city.

Shikhin Mehrotra is a Research Analyst at BRIDGE TO INDIA.

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