India’s capital Delhi finally has net-metering regulations for small-scale renewable energy projects. The regulations would actually be implemented largely for rooftop-top solar power systems only, as potential for other renewable energy technologies is very low in Delhi.
As per the regulations (pdf) generators will receive payment only for net electricity generated over a period of twelve months (India’s financial year – April to March). Power generated from the power system will be consumed by the generator. If, during a billing cycle (one month) the power generated is more than the power consumed the additional units will be carried over to the next billing cycle.
At the end of the financial year, the generator will be paid for the net unit at a rate determined by the electricity regulation commission. The rate will be equal to the average power purchase cost from all sources.
While the regulations seem quite simple and easy to implement there could be some objections to them by stakeholders, including the utilities. The utilities may not be able to claim the power generated (gross or net) from the rooftop solar power system against their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). As per the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) of India renewable power purchased at preferential tariff only can be used to satisfy RPO.
Delhi has tried its hand at net-metering regulations for rooftop solar power projects in the recent past but the implementation has been unsuccessful due to lack of information to homeowners and commercial property owners.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) that governs a portion of the national capital region announced a program to install rooftop solar power systems at 40 government buildings. Tenders to identify, design, erect and commission solar rooftop solar power systems have already been floated by NDMC. The systems are expected to be set atop hospitals, schools and local government offices.
Image Credit: Reliance Solar Group