Uttar Pradesh Raises Upper Cap for Net-Metered Rooftop Solar Installations from 1 to 2 MW

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has finalized the proposed regulations related to net-metering provisions for rooftop solar projects in the state.

The commission had proposed the draft RSPV Regulations 2019 back in November 2018 after examining various petitions regarding the upper cap of 1 MW for net-metered rooftop solar installations and observing documented as well as oral suggestions from stakeholders.

While reviewing the regulations, the state body observed that Uttar Pradesh had an energy deficit of 1.5 percent in financial year (FY) 2017-18, more than double of the all India average of 0.7 percent. The commission also noted that the DISCOMs in the state have high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of around 37.92 percent.

According to the UPERC, encouraging rooftop solar PV installations will lead to reduced demand-supply gap and it will also result in less aggregate technical and commercial losses for the DISCOMs. It also took a cue from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)’s letter, asking states to increase the upper cap for rooftop solar PV systems’ size to 2 MW, and stated that this would help in achieving the target of 4,300 MW of rooftop solar PV capacity in the state by 2022.

The UPERC is of the view that increasing the limit of available distribution transformer capacity to 100 percent will help in decongesting the local distribution by supplying power at consumption side, thereby reducing system losses. After considering suggestions made by stakeholders, the UPERC decided to limit the available distribution transformer capacity to 75 percent as a preventive measure for instances where the injected power can be greater than the transformer capacity.

According to the UPERC, tariff under gross metering will be the weighted average tariff of grid-connected solar PV projects of capacity 5 MW and above from the previous financial year plus a 25 percent incentive.

The UPERC observed that under the SAUBHAGYA program, DISCOMs are providing connection to cross-subsidized consumers and under the net-metering mechanism the same consumers are offsetting energy requirement affecting recovery of cross subsidy by DISCOMs. The UPERC has restricted the consumer categories eligible for net-metering; metered residential and agricultural consumers falling under LMV-I and LMV-V categories will be eligible for net metering. The other consumer categories will be eligible for gross-metering or net-billing.

The UPERC has fixed ₹2 (~$0.029)/kWh as the tariff for settlement under net-metering arrangement.

RSPV Regulations 2019 will come into force from the date of their notification in the Official Gazette of Uttar Pradesh. These regulations will apply to the distribution companies and licensees (DISCOMs), eligible consumers of the DISCOMs, and third-party owners of gross-metering arrangement of rooftop solar PV systems in Uttar Pradesh.

Mercom previously reported on how net metering policy has been a drag for India’s rooftop solar sector as most states have an upper limit (usually 1 MW) on the size of a rooftop solar project.

A 1 MW rooftop project is relatively large, but the size limit sidelines a large number of commercial and industrial consumers from installing rooftop solar to meet their power needs. Now, in Uttar Pradesh an increasing number of prosumers will find it easy to install rooftop solar PV systems.

Image credit: Solarrooftop.gov

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.