The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has recently issued Draft Guidelines to implement a group net-metering and virtual net-metering for Rooftop Solar Power Projects in NCT region under the Delhi Solar Policy 2016. The draft is up for comments, suggestions and objections up to January 10, 2019.
The Delhi Solar Policy, 2016 issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi (GoNCTD) vide notification dated 27.09.2016 considered solar power to be the most viable form of green energy in Delhi which has the potential of lowering the state’s expenditure on energy, strengthening its energy security, and reducing its reliance on unsustainable fossil fuels.
Under Group Net-Metering surplus energy exported to the grid from a solar plant at the location of the solar plant can be adjusted in any other (one or more) electricity service connection(s) of the consumer within the same distribution licensee area.
Example 1: Say for schools owned by Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the connection is generally taken in the name of Principal. Therefore, in such cases, these connections taken for the schools owned by a single Government Organization i.e. MCD shall be covered under group net metering.
Example 2: Any Individual has a factory with rooftop but lives in a flat with no rooftop/space for installation of Solar. He/she is paying electricity bills at both these locations. Now, he/she now installs solar power at factory rooftop. Under Group Net-Metering:
- Use the electricity generated for meeting the energy demand of your factory
- Supply excess electricity to the grid to off-set the upper slab of your electricity consumption in your house.
This means you have a reduced bill for both your factory (because of lower consumption from the grid) and your home (excess electricity supplied from the solar plant is subtracted from the bill you get at home).
Virtual Net-Metering allows Consumer(s) to collectively own a solar system. Electricity Units generated by such solar plant is directly fed into the grid and then energy generated from solar plant is credited in the electricity bill of each participating consumer on the basis of share of beneficial ownership in the solar plant, at the time of application.
Example 1: A house has 3 constructed floors where 3 different owner live. But there is only a single rooftop. Now under virtual net-metering, these 3 owners invest in solar power plant at the rooftop and state the beneficiary ratio a:b:c (to DISCOM at time of application).
The installed solar plant in this case feeds energy directly to the grid. At the end of month, the units generated by solar plant are divided in beneficiary ratio (a:b:c) and corresponding units gets are subtracted from each of the users. This way all 3 users can trade-up their maximum costly units to solar.
Highlights of Draft Regulations:
- In the initial phase, the group and virtual net-metering framework will be made available for government entities.
- If the capacity of group or virtual net-metered solar project is more than the sanctioned load of the premises of the consumer on which solar the project is installed, the consumer will pay the differential amount of state load dispatch (SLD) charges.
- Smart meters will be installed at the generation point and the cost shall be borne by the DISCOMs.
- At the end of each financial year, any net energy credits, which remain unadjusted, will be paid by the DISCOM to the consumer as per the rates fixed by DERC.
- Under virtual net metering, there is no restriction on intra DISCOM or inter DISCOM transfer of surplus energy per the Delhi Solar Policy, 2016.
- In case of inter DISCOM transfer of power due to physical location of either of generation unit or consumer in different DISCOM area, normative distribution losses on account of transfer of power will be borne by the consumer.