India revises net metering arrangements

India’s Ministry of Power has issued an order setting net metering for rooftop solar installations up to 500kW capacity.

The order issued as an amendment to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules 2020 revises an earlier rule from December 2020 when those rules were released capping net metering for systems up to 10kW. For systems greater than 10kW gross metering would be required.

The new rule states that where regulations made by the state commission do not provide for net metering, net billing or net feed-in, net metering may be allowed for loads up to 500kW or the sanctioned load, whichever is the lower.

For other loads net billing or net feed-in is permitted. In such cases time-of-day tariffs may be introduced to incentivise consumers to install energy storage to store energy for their own use or to feed in to the grid during peak hours.

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In the cases of consumers who wish to sell all of their generated solar energy to the distribution company, they can opt for gross metering with a generic tariff decided by the state commission as per the tariff regulations.

The new rules, which came into effect on June 28, set out that arrangements for net metering, gross metering, net billing and net feed-in shall be in accordance with the regulations of the state commission.

Net metering will be by way of a single bidirectional meter at the point of supply.

The rules also enable distribution licensees to install a solar energy meter to measure the gross solar energy generated from the rooftop PV system for the purpose of renewable energy purchase obligation credits.

These new rules are expected to give a boost to the rooftop solar market with the incentive for consumers to turn prosumer, following the December net metering changes, which were widely opposed in the industry.

This would supplement the further boost that could come with the plans, which are in hand, to launch a domestic battery storage manufacturing capability and avoid more costly imported units.