GERC Amends Rooftop Solar Net Metering Regulations in Gujarat

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has published amendments to its regulations for grid-connected rooftop solar net metering in the official gazette. The new regulations took effect on October 6, 2017.

The new regulations apply to all rooftop systems installed in Gujarat. GERC specifies in the new rules that the maximum capacity of a rooftop solar PV system installed at any eligible consumer’s premises – except residential consumers – is a maximum of 50 percent of the consumer’s sanctioned load/contract demand. In the case of residential consumers, the capacity of the rooftop solar PV system is not subject to the sanctioned load/contract demand.

GERC’s regulations say that going forward any applicant that wants to install a rooftop solar system will be required to mention the capacity of the planned rooftop solar project in their application to the distribution licensee/company (DISCOM).

Regarding the interconnection agreement between a DISCOM and a solar rooftop PV project owner, GERC has said that any consumer other than a residential consumer must ensure that the capacity of their rooftop solar project does not exceed 50 percent of the contract load/demand/sanctioned load during the initial two years of the connectivity agreement.

However, the regulations did not address certain bottlenecks that are hindering the solar industry.

In an interview with Mercom, Umakant Shende, chief operating officer of CleanMax Solar said, “Rooftop solar is primarily driven by state net-metering policies and most of these net-metering policies put an upper ceiling of 1 MW on rooftop solar projects. This artificial capping is inhibiting the growth of rooftop solar.”

GERC has this year been active in formulating policies for renewable energy in Gujarat. Prior to the recent issuance of the new net metering regulations, GERC in January issued draft regulations for solar and wind power for 2017 with the objective of facilitating the large-scale grid integration of solar and wind generating stations while maintaining grid stability and security through forecasting, scheduling, and implementing a commercial mechanism for any deviation settlement of the generators.

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