Report Finds Municipalities Could Boost Rooftop Solar Adoption Using Bonds

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has issued new regulations for net metering provisions for rooftop solar projects in the state.

The regulations, called RSPV Regulations 2019, will come into force from the date of their notification in the official gazette.

These regulations will apply to the distribution licensees (DISCOMs), eligible consumers of the DISCOMs, and third-party owners of gross-metering arrangement of rooftop solar PV systems in Uttar Pradesh.

Key Highlights

  • Eligible consumer can install the rooftop solar PV system under either gross-metering arrangement or net-metering arrangement.
  • Third-party owners who have entered into a commercial agreement for the rooftop in the premises of the consumers will be entitled to install rooftop solar projects under gross-metering arrangement with the DISCOM for a capacity equal to the cumulative capacity of the prescribed limits of rooftop solar PV capacity for each eligible consumer.
  • Third-party owners who have entered into a lease or commercial agreement for the rooftop in the premises of a group of consumer, will also be entitled to install rooftop solar PV system under net-metering arrangement with the DISCOM.
  • Eligible consumer or third-party owner availing gross-metering arrangement will not be allowed to apply for net-metering arrangement within the same premises. The same will hold true for net-metering consumers.
  • If the consumer or third-party owner installs solar rooftop under gross-metering, the entire power generated will be injected to the distribution system of the DISCOM at the interconnection point.
  • If the eligible consumer installs solar rooftop system under net-metering, eligible consumer will be entitled to use the power generated from the project at their premises. The surplus power can be injected to the distribution system of DISCOM at the interconnection point.
  • To provide flexibility to rooftop solar power prosumer, a provision of mutual sale and purchase of electricity through peer-to-peer transaction with proper accounting and billing mechanism (implemented with the help of blockchain technology) has now been provided.
  • The capacity of the rooftop project to be installed will not be less than 1 kW and will not exceed 2 MW.
  • State authorities can undertake rooftop solar projects above 2 MW capacity through alternative mechanisms.
  • Any consumer claiming accelerated depreciation benefits on the rooftop solar projects will only be eligible to avail net-metering arrangement.
  • Both net-metering and gross-metering of the electricity generation by a consumer, which is not an obligated entity, will qualify towards compliance of renewable purchase obligation (RPO) for the DISCOM.

Talking to Mercom, a UPERC official said, “This was long due as the regulations of 2015 have already expired and new amendments have now been made to accommodate new developments in the country’s rooftop solar PV sector.

Recently, in a landmark order, UPERC allowed net metering for a 3.34 MW rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Greater NOIDA, Uttar Pradesh. The UPERC was responding to a petition filed by Gautam Buddha University, Greater NOIDA.

Mercom had reported in recently that net metering policy continues to be a drag on India’s rooftop solar sector. One of the larger hurdles is system size as most states have an upper limit (usually 1 MW) on the size of a rooftop solar project. Although a 1 MW rooftop project is relatively large, the size limit sidelines a large number of commercial and industrial consumers from installing rooftop solar to meet their power needs.

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.