The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) in its latest order has issued new guidelines for net metering of rooftop solar plants in the state as a part of its state solar policy.
The state passed its solar policy the ‘Tamil Nadu Solar Policy 2019’ earlier in February this year. The Policy was launched with a set a target for achieving 9000 MW of installed capacity by 2023, of which 40% is earmarked for consumer category solar energy systems. One type of Solar energy grid feed-in mechanism prescribed in the Policy is the Solar energy net feed-in (consumer category) mechanism.
The new order was issued after the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) filed a petition with the commission for adopting revised accounting methodology in rooftop solar generation.
Under this new program, an eligible consumer (consumers under Low Tension (LT) category except for hut and agricultural category of tariff) can install the maximum capacity of solar rooftop up to 100 percent of his sanctioned/contracted demand with the distribution licensee (discom). However, existing consumers under the net metering scheme shall continue to be governed by the provisions of the previous orders.
The eligible consumers will also have to install two meters under the solar net feed-in program. First, for measuring solar power generation and the second for measuring the import and export of energy. Both the meters will have to be installed at the same location where the existing meter for recording the consumption of energy is installed.
The cost of new/additional meters provided for the net feed-in scheme and the installation and testing charges will be covered by the eligible consumers. However, the discom will procure, test and install the meters. The consumers will also have the option to procure and supply the meters.
Installation of solar generation meter will help the discom with demand forecasting and also for computation of total solar generation in the State. All consumers under the net feed-in scheme shall install solar generation meters to measure actual generation from the solar plant.
The surplus energy generated by a rooftop system that flows to the grid and recorded in the export register of the meter shall at the end of the billing period be calculated at a tariff fixed by the commission and credited to the consumer’s account. Any credit available in the account of the consumer after debiting value of imported energy shall be carried over to the next billing period for adjustments against subsequent billing. At the end of the settlement period, credit i.e the monetary value of surplus generation if any will be settled by the discom, to the consumer within 15 days from the date of billing.
Discoms will install the energy meters and commission the solar metering facility within three weeks from the date of application by the consumer. The energy generated from the solar rooftop project can be accounted towards the fulfilment of the RPO of discoms. However, the net injection of power is not eligible for renewable energy certificates.
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