Kerala DISCOM Directed to Process Net Metering Request for a 1 MW Solar Project

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC), in a recent order, directed the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to process Kerala Health Care’s request for the connectivity of 1 MW solar project, with net metering being installed in their premises and provide the feasibility report within two weeks.

The Commission clarified that there would be no voltage-based restrictions, and consumers applying for net-metering facility up to 1 MW will be permitted to avail of the facility without any restriction. Also, the registration fee of ₹500,000 (~$6,768) collected by KSEB from the consumer on April 11, 2018, would be treated as an advance and adjusted in the amount collected as registration fee for the 1 MW project, which was submitted with the application dated August 13, 2020.

The Commission further added that the petitioner should complete the installation of the proposed solar project as per the provisions of the net metering regulations, 2020, complying with all the applicable requirements.

Kerala Health Care had filed a petition with the Commission, requesting to direct KSEB to provide a feasibility report for the 1 MW grid-connected solar project of the consumer under the net metering system.

The petitioner submitted an application dated August 23, 2017, to KSEB to obtain the feasibility certificate for installing a 1 MW of grid-connected solar project in their premises with a net metering facility. After processing the application, the deputy chief engineer, the electrical circle of Palakkad, issued the feasibility report on October 3, 2017, to connect 500 kW capacity solar project only and directed the consumer to remit ₹500,000 (~$6,768) as registration fee. The petitioner submitted the required amount to register the 500 kW solar project on April 11, 2018.

Later, the Commission’s Net Metering Regulations, 2020, was notified on February 07, 2020, repealing all the existing regulations on net metering. As per the regulation, voltage restriction is not stipulated for the consumers for availing net metering facility up to 1 MW.

Considering all these facts, the Commission asked KSEB to process the application and issue the feasibility report for the 1 MW solar project within two weeks.

Earlier, KSERC has issued a draft of net metering regulations for renewable energy systems. The general conditions specified by the KSERC were that the distribution licensee should provide the net metering arrangement to the prosumer within ten days from the date of submission of the approval from the electrical inspector. The grid-interactive renewable energy systems installed by a prosumer should be between 1-1,000 kW.

Net metering has been a bone of contention for rooftop solar systems. The Ministry of Power has issued draft amendments, which allows net metering for rooftop solar systems of loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower and net billing (gross metering) or net feed-in for above 500 kW.

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