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LAHORE: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is likely to award licences within next 15 days or so to 13 applicants for installation of solar net metering system and power generation from 3KW to 100KW within limits of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco).

Nepra is currently processing the applications including those of some domestic consumers after receiving these from Lesco that found these ‘fit for the system’ through processing amid certification of the electric inspector and signing of agreements between the consumers and the competent authority.

The solar net metering system allows any of domestic, commercial or industrial consumers having a three-phase electric meter connection to be a part of the power generating system by installing the system at his/her premises (house, shop, factory, open spaces etc). Under the arrangement, such consumer may sell the additional energy to the distribution company concerned and make stocktaking (calculations) with it at the end of month. “Applications of 13 domestic, commercial and industrial consumers are currently under process after we recommended them as fit for award of licences and sent the same to Nepra for issuance of the same a couple of days before. And we hope that the authority will award them licences within 15 days or so,” confirms Lesco Chief Engineer (Marketing and Tariff) Engr Adnan Riaz Mir.

“The consumers entering the system are called distributed generators,” he added.

Lesco had actually received 18 applications from consumers within the last couple of months. The first application, it received from Skypower (Private) Limited Lahore, was recommended and sent to Nepra last month and the party got licence and started solar energy generation (135KW) under the guidelines as narrated in the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“The remaining four applications are still with us as we have raised some observations and asked the applicants to provide various missing documents they are supposed to append with their applications. Hopefully we will also send these to Nepra for the issuance of licences as soon as we complete the procedure,” the chief engineer told Dawn on Saturday.

Under the project, the consumers seeking generation of energy from 1KW to 1,000KW may submit applications. Nepra has already awarded licences to 18 potential consumers of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) and many places including the National Assembly have started solar power generation. Besides, applications of many other consumers in Iesco are under process.

Lesco has started installation of the system at its building’s rooftop. “A solar plant having gross capacity of 17KW is also being installed at Lesco building’s rooftop and it will soon start power generation and help us in meeting the offices’ energy demand,” Mr Mir claimed.

Nepra had notified in September last the regulations in exercise of the powers conferred on it under section 47 (read with section 7 (I) of the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act, 1997 (XL of 1997), to establish a framework for the regulation of Distributed Generation by using alternative and renewable energy and net metering that may be called as Nepra (Alternative and Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations, 2015.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2016