Net Metering for Systems Up to 500 kW Proposed In Draft Karnataka Regulations

Highlights :

  • KERC proposes net metering for rooftop solar systems up to 500 kW.
  • With a tariff of Rs. 3.82/kWh for residential rooftop up to10kWh and Rs. 2.84/kWh for large-scale projects up to 2 MW.

In what should be a relief for solar developers, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has brought up a proposal that revises the limits for net metering to 500 kW from the earlier proposed 10 kW.

In the new proposal, the KERC had suggested generic tariffs of Rs. 3.82/kWh for residential rooftop solar systems between 1 kW and 10 kW, and Rs. 2.84/kWh for large-scale projects between 1 kW and 2 MW. Amongst several other suggestions made in the discussion paper, the proposed tariffs were applicable for the control period between financial year (FY) 2022 and FY 2024. The commission has invited stakeholders for a public hearing on August 4, 2021 to collect feedback before it notifies the new rules.

Back in February this year, the Commission had proposed allowing net metering for rooftop solar projects between 1 kW and 10 kW and gross metering for capacity over 10 kW.

Last month, the Ministry of Power (MoP) issued the much-awaited amendment to the Electricity 2020 Rules concerning net metering for rooftop solar installations. The amendment allows net metering to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the approved load, whichever is lower. So far, as feared, many states have picked the ‘up to’ route to propose lower limits for net metering. Keep in mind that the earlier limit was 1 MW or even higher in many cases, a factor seen as key by most developers to help the larger C&I market to grow.

Gujarat, a notable holdout to large rooftop deals, has again proposed a limit of 10 kW on net metering accordingly. Even in other states, by retaining the ‘upto’ language, discoms and regulators have effectively ensured that no consumer/developer can consider that upto 500 kW sanction would be automatic. As other issues can always be used to derail proposals and force it down to a lower limit.

Under the latest Electricity Amendment Rules, 2021, the arrangements for net metering, gross metering, net billing, or net feed-in would follow the regulations made by the State Commission from time to time, which should at last help take decision making away from discom hands.

Earlier in May 2021, KERC had approved a tariff of Rs 8.40/kWh for a 3 MW solar power project of Cambria Solar Private Limited. As per the Solar Policy 2014-21, the project was given allotment under SRTPV Scheme by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) on March 17, 2015.

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