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LAHORE: The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) has decided to provide 200 net-metering connections free of cost to those domestic consumers who seek to enter into the new era of solar power generation.

The solar net-metering allows any of domestic, commercial or industrial consumers having a three-phase meter connection to be part of the power generation system by installing it on his/her premises (house, shop, factory, open spaces etc). Under the arrangement, such a consumer may sell the additional energy to the respective power distribution company (Disco) and make stocktaking (calculations) with it at the end of month.

Since the system allows the consumers to generate electricity from 1KW to 1MW, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) issues licences to the applicants. Before issuance of the licence, the respective Disco receives, scrutinises and processes such applications.

In December 2016, Nepra issued licences to 20 consumers seeking net-metering connections in Lahore.

“To promote the solar net-metering system, we have decided to install 200 new domestic connections in the service areas of Lesco (Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Nankana and Okara) free of cost. For this, the power division has also provided special meters to the company,” a senior Lesco officer told Dawn on Tuesday.

He said since inception of the system in 2016, the company had so far installed 70 net-metering connections. In phase-1, the company had received 107 applications, out of which Nepra issued licences to 97 applicants. “It has installed 70 connections while the meters issued to the remaining 27 are going through a testing phase. The licences for the remaining 10 applicants are currently under process at Nepra,” he said.

He said the free connections would be given on a first-come first-served basis. He said Lesco was also processing a major net-metering case of 1MW that was applied by a known shoe industry in Lahore.

“Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is likely to inaugurate the system in Lahore in the coming days,” the official said.

Nepra had earlier awarded licences to 18 potential consumers of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) and many places including the National Assembly started solar power generation. Lesco has already installed the system of 135 kilowatt at its building’s rooftop.

The system has a legal cover under Nepra’s notification issued in September 2015.

Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2018