A historic net metering revision for distributed electricity is now in play in Brazil.
Planned revisions to Brazil’s net metering program for small-scale distributed electricity generation systems came into force today.
These changes were approved in November 2015 by Brazil’s energy regulator National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL). The change was described at the time as “historic” by the director of Brazil’s solar industry association (Absolar), Rodrigo Sauaia.
Of importance, these new rules allow consumers that have installed small generators such as solar panels or microturbines to be financially rewarded for exchanging energy with the local grid under net metering regulations.
Distributed generation installations in Brazil have grown dramatically over the last two years. This number is now expected to expand even faster.
ANEEL is anticipating the new rules will spur over 1.2 million consumers will start to produce their own energy by 2024. This will be equivalent to 4.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity.
The rules apply to micro-generation (<75kW) and mini-generation (>75kW-5MW) systems which are connected to the distribution network.
Electricity producers can receive credits for providing excess electricity back to the grid, which can then be used to lower electricity bills in the following month. The period of validity for claiming these credits has also been increased from three years to five years.
Distributed electricity generation condominiums can also share the energy generated and the net metering rewards among multiple investors. For some entities, this is regarded as a significant business opportunity.
Under the revised rules, the total time for the system distributors to connect power plants of <75kW has been reduced from 82 days to 34 days.
When the revision was originally agreed upon, Sauaia said: “This is a massive improvement to the net metering system, incorporating several of the international best practices and this puts Brazil really into the forefront of public regulations in support of the development of small-scale renewable energy connection to the grid.”
Image via Yingli Solar