The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has permitted net metering and net billing arrangement for grid-connected distributed renewable energy systems under the renewable energy service company (RESCO) model.
The regulations will apply to all grid-connected distributed renewable systems to be commissioned on or after July 1, 2021.
The Commission said that the net metering and net billing (gross metering) arrangement would be allowed for eligible consumers who lease out or rent the space for setting up the system. The RESCO and the consumer should also agree to the payment terms. There would be no tripartite agreement between the RESCO, consumer, and the distribution licensee.
The regulations will apply to distribution licensees and consumers availing supply from such licensees.
The eligibility for net metering facility will be as specified under the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 and the amendments made.
The regulations will apply to the net-metering arrangement, net billing arrangements, and grid-connected distributed renewable energy generating systems that have not opted for net metering or net billing arrangement.
The renewable energy generating system’s cumulative capacity to be allowed at a particular distribution transformer should not exceed 50% of the transformer capacity.
The maximum renewable energy generating system capacity to be installed at any premises should not exceed 100% of the consumer’s sanctioned load or contract demand. The capacity of generating system to be installed at the premises should be more than one kW under the net billing arrangement or the net metering arrangement.
The system connected behind the consumer’s meter, operating in parallel with the distribution licensee’s grid and not opting for net billing or net metering arrangement, will be allowed only after intimating the respective distribution licensee. The consumer should ensure that no energy is injected into the grid from such a system installed behind the consumer’s meter.
The net metering arrangement will include a single-phase or a three-phase net meter, as may be required, located at the point of interconnection as ascertained by the distribution licensee.
The accounting of electricity exported and imported by the consumer will become effective from the date of connectivity of the renewable energy generating system with the distribution network. The distribution licensee should undertake meter reading of both the generation meter and the net meter, as applicable, according to the regular metering cycle
For the net billing arrangement, the distribution licensee should enter into an agreement at the weighted average tariff discovered through competitive bidding in the previous financial year, plus an incentive of 25%. In case no bidding is done in the previous financial year, then the latest tariff discovered through competitive bidding plus an incentive of 25% will be applicable.
For net metering, If the quantum of electricity exported by a domestic consumer exceeds the quantum imported during the billing period, the excess energy exported by such a consumer will be purchased by the distribution licensee at the weighted average tariff of large-scale solar projects of 5 MW and more, discovered through competitive bidding.
If the quantum of electricity imported by the consumer exceeds the quantum exported, the distribution licensee will raise its bill for the net electricity consumption after adjusting the credited unit.
The unadjusted net credited units of electricity at the end of each financial year for the domestic category consumer will be purchased by the distribution licensee.
The quantum of electricity generated from the self-owned renewable energy generating system under the net-metering arrangement will be exempted from banking charges, wheeling charges, cross subsidy surcharge, and additional surcharge. The electricity generated from the RESCO-owned generating system under the net-metering arrangement will be exempted from banking charges and wheeling charges.
Similarly, the quantum of electricity generated from the self-owned or the RESCO-owned generating system under the net billing arrangement will be exempted from banking charges, wheeling charges, cross subsidy surcharge, and additional surcharge.
The quantum of electricity generated from the system under the net billing arrangement or net metering arrangement will qualify towards compliance of the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) for the distribution licensee in whose area of supply the consumer is located.
Recently, RERC clarified that the net metering facilities for rooftop and small grid-connected solar systems would be valid up to June 30, 2021. Under the ‘Grid-Connected Distributed Renewable Energy Generating Systems Regulations, 2020,′ net metering for rooftop solar and small grid-connected solar projects commissioned expired on March 31, 2021.
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Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.