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Kerala Commission Rejected KSEB’s Request For Removal Of Net Metering And Reduction Of Banked Solar Energy Tariff

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growatt01-08-2022

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) recently rejected the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Ltd request to implement the gross metering system and net-billing for solar systems in the state, as per the Electricity (Right of Consumers) Amendment Rules of 2021. KSEB had submitted a petition requesting the introduction gross-metering and netting arrangements to renewable power systems above 500KW capacity. KSEB requested for amendment of the KSERC (Renewable Energy and Net Metering) Regulations, 2020 as early as possible.

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The commission also rejected KSEB’s request for approval of INR 2.44/Kwh in settlement of excess energy banked during the settlement period Oct 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

Background

In its submission, KSEB stated that net metering was implemented to encourage solar generation in the state. This was a very early stage. However, solar technology is now grid-parity and the DISCOMs are facing a significant financial burden from continuing to use ‘net metering.

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KSEB also stated that the average power purchase costs (APPC) approved for FY 2021-22 by the commission was INR 3.22/Kwh. This was significantly higher than the prevailing solar power rate. KSEB presented the example of the recently discovered lowest solar tariff at Indian Rupees 2.44/Kwh, for a 300MW solar power station. They urged for approval to settle the excess energy for the settlement period that runs from Oct 2021 through 30 Sep 2022.

Commission’s Analysis and Order

After analyzing all submission from KSEB, the commission rejected the plea for implementation of gross metering and Net-billing system in the state. Commission further stated that KSEB can resubmit petition for implementation of Gross-metering and Net-billing only after state’s fulfillment of RPO compliances.

The commission further dismissed KSEB’s request of reduction in tariff of excess banked energy to INR 2.44/kwh from state’s APPC rate at INR 3.22/Kwh. Commission sited KSERC (Renewable energy and Net metering) Regulation, 2020 where it has clearly stated that excess energy injected into the grid which is banked by prosumers, will be paid at state’s previous financial year’s APPC rate after completion of settlement period.

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