The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the state of Goa and union territories has issued draft net metering regulations. The draft is up for comments and suggestions up to June 4, 2019.
These regulations will apply to grid-connected rooftop mounted, ground-mounted and floating solar PV power projects in Goa and the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.
Solar projects of capacity up to 500 kW at a single location will be eligible for grid connectivity. Solar PV projects of capacity higher than 500 kW can be considered by the DISCOM if the distribution system remains stable with the project getting connected to the grid.
Under the new regulations, consumers will generate solar power for self-consumption and can feed the excess solar power into the grid, which will be adjusted under net metering. The maximum solar PV generation capacity to be installed at any eligible consumer premises must not exceed his contract demand or sanctioned load.
The DISCOM will undertake demand aggregation and other related activities, to promote solar power capacity in its licensed area. It will arrange testing and sealing of the electricity meter of eligible consumers; the electricity meters will be arranged by the consumer or power generator. The DISCOM will allow the installation of solar projects in its area of supply on a non-discriminatory and first-come-first-serve basis for each distribution transformer separately and within the stipulated timeline.
The DISCOM will ensure that the interconnection of the solar project with its distribution network conforms to the specifications, standards and other provisions. An eligible consumer will be responsible for the safe operation, maintenance and rectification of any defect in the solar project up to the point of net meter, beyond which point such responsibility will be that of the DISCOM if the solar meter is being maintained by the DISCOM.
JERC has proposed that in case the payment by the DISCOM is delayed beyond May 31 of that year, a late payment surcharge at the rate of 1.25% per month will be levied on the DISCOM. Solar PV projects will be exempted from banking charges.
The electricity consumed by an eligible entity from the solar project under a net metering arrangement will qualify towards the compliance of solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO). The electricity consumed by a consumer from a rooftop solar system under a net metering arrangement will qualify towards meeting the solar RPO of the DISCOM if the consumer is not an obligated entity. The unadjusted surplus units of solar energy purchased by the DISCOM will also qualify towards meeting its solar RPO.
Last year, the JERC issued a set of regulations dealing with power generation, transmission and distribution. With these moves, the joint commission is trying to expedite the growth of renewable energy in the country, especially solar.
Previously, Mercom has analyzed the various challenges associated with the implementation of net metering arrangement in India.
Some states are actively working toward improving the process for net metering approval, including Karnataka which recently announced it will not require CEIG clearances for projects below 1 MW. This step, albeit a small one is in the right direction for the state.