Delhi Finalizes Group and Virtual Net Metering Guidelines
The guidelines are aimed at the maximum utilization of Delhi’s rooftop solar potential
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has finalized the group and virtual net metering guidelines. The commission has set the minimum project capacity at 5 kW while the maximum will be 5 MW at a single location.
The DERC had issued draft guidelines in December 2018.
According to the final guidelines, group net metering framework will be applicable for all the consumers of the national capital territory (NCT) of Delhi.
The virtual net metering framework will be applicable for residential consumers, group housing societies, offices of government and local authorities, and renewable energy generators registered under Mukhya Mantri Kisaan Aay Badhotari Yojna.
According to the order, Virtual Net Metering is where the entire energy generated/exported from a renewable energy system or Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) which is charged through a renewable energy system is exported to the grid from renewable energy meter/ gross meter. Also, that exported energy is adjusted in more than one electric connection of participating consumers located within the same distribution licensee’s area of supply.
The commission has stated that the annual generation of a renewable energy system will be capped in line with the normative capacity utilization factor (CUF) or plant load factor (PLF) as decided by the commission.
Now, the distribution company (DISCOM) will facilitate and bear the capital expenditure on account of the service line cum development (SLD) and network augmentation for projects registered under Mukhya Mantri Kisaan Aay Badhotari Yojna.
The commission has asked DISCOMs to carry out the detailed technical study for the impact of renewable energy systems installed under the DERC Net Metering Regulations 2014 on distribution systems related to the grid voltage and frequency imbalance, harmonics and technical losses in its area of supply. It has asked to submit the report within four months from the date of issue of these guidelines.
For group or virtual net-metering, consumers must apply to the distribution company (DISCOM) with a fee of ₹1,000 (~$14). The commission has stated that the renewable energy system commissioned by March 31, 2022, under its net metering regulations will be exempted during its useful life from payment of wheeling charge, banking charge, cross-subsidy charge, and other charges.
In case the renewable energy generator is not an obligated entity, the electricity generated under these regulations will qualify for compliance of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for the distribution licensee.
The order states that these guidelines come into force from the date of issue, which is May 31, 2019.
Several states have recently issued regulations, guidelines, and amendments to the net metering regulations. The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the state of Goa and union territories issued draft net metering regulations in May while the Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) issued an order for rooftop solar grid-interactive systems based on net metering. In March, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC)issued new net metering guidelines for solar rooftop consumers as part of its Solar Policy 2019. During the same month, the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) amended its net metering regulations passed in the year 2015 for rooftop and small solar grid interactive systems.
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