The Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) has issued an amendment to the net metering regulations for grid-connected rooftop solar systems.
The Commission has invited comments and suggestions from the stakeholders by December 16, 2020.
As per the amendment to clause 10.6 of the principal regulations, the number of electricity units exported by the eligible consumer should be measured in kWh only. In case the eligible tariff provides for energy billing on a kVAh basis, and if the consumer delivers surplus electricity to the distribution licensee during the billing period, for offsetting the electricity, the power factor will be assumed to be unity. According to the previous clause, in the applicable tariff providing for billing on a kVAh basis, the net drawl or injection of energy was to be measured in kVAh.
According to an earlier recommendation by the Forum of Regulators, poor power factor (an indicator for energy conversion efficiency) generally caused by industrial and non-domestic consumers gives rise to overloading of the network, higher load losses, and voltage dips. It would eventually harm other consumers, as well. Here, the kVAh metering is better equipped to check on the power factor compared to conventional kWh metering.
It had also recommended that, for all high-end consumers with a connected load of 20 kW and above, a tariff on a kVAh basis be introduced. The tariff structure should be such that low power factor cases are penalized.
The Telangana Commission had approved net metering for solar rooftop customers in the state with systems ranging from 1 kW to 1 MW in November 2016. The policy applies to power distribution companies (DISCOMs), eligible consumers, and third-party owners of rooftop solar projects in the state. As per the regulations, the DISCOMs need to ensure that the interconnection of solar rooftop systems with the grid conforms to the specifications detailed by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
In September this year, the Ministry of Power released draft electricity rules 2020 to streamline power supply and distribution. One of the draft’s critical points revolves around gross metering and net metering of residential rooftop solar installations. If the draft is approved, then residential rooftop solar projects of capacity up to 5 kW will fall under net metering, and projects above 5 kW will be eligible for gross metering.
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