MERC notifies 1 MW net metering cap for solar rooftop projects

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has notified changes to gross and net metering rules. This measure has been taken in line with the grid interactive rooftop renewable energy generating systems’ regulations of the state. According to the amendment, the capacity of renewable energy generation system will be capped either at contract demand of the consumer or 1 MW, whichever is lower.

A consumer who uses a renewable energy generating system and consumes electricity within the discom service area will be an eligible consumer under the proposed changes. The system may be installed on the building’s rooftop or another support structure. The net metering arrangement should comprise of a single-phase or a three-phase net meter. The discom is required to install an additional meter to verify generation meter’s reading established under gross metering framework. According to a new provision, the consumer will receive half of the accumulated amount in cash after the third fiscal year if the credit amount continues to rise over three consecutive financial years. The consumer’s electricity bill will show a credit for the remaining 50 per cent.

Under net metering, the proposed changes entails that the accounting for power exported and imported by qualifying consumers shall start on the day of the renewable energy generation system. The system’s energy output must first be used for self-consumption and any extra energy used or fed into the system will be billed.  The gross metering amendment entails developing a renewable energy generation system and using a power purchase agreement to sell all the electricity produced to the discom. They must install a net metre in place of the current one if the renewable energy generation system is connected to the consumer’s side of the metre. Another proposed rule states that a bi-directional metre must be installed in place of the existing system, if it does not comply with the Grid Interactive Renewable Regulations. Additionally, a distinct metre for measuring the generation of renewable energy must be provided. In order to accurately track energy imports and exports, a bi-directional metre must be installed at the discom network connection point.