LAHORE: The Punjab government is set to approach the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to allow generation licenses to those seeking installation of solar net-metering system against single-phase electricity meters.

If the authority accepts the proposal, it will allow power distribution companies (Discos) to process applications from consumers and forward the same to the Nepra for issuance of license.

“Since the net-metering is available for consumers having three-phase meters, the Punjab government (energy department) will soon send a detailed letter-cum-proposal to Nepra via offices of the chief minister and chief secretary to also allow net-metering to consumers having single-phase meters,” Energy Department’s Director (Technical / Power) Muhammad Yasin told Dawn.

The solar net-metering allows domestic, commercial or industrial consumers having three-phase meter connections to be part of the power generation system by installing panels on his/her premises (house, shop, factory, schools, govt departments, open spaces etc). Under the arrangement, such a consumer may sell additional energy to respective power distribution company (Disco).

Since the system allows consumers to generate electricity from 1KW to 1MW, the Nepra issues licences to applicants after the Disco s receive, scrutinise and process applications.

Mr Yasin said the decision to take up the issue with Nepra was taken after the energy department installed solar systems in 11,000 schools across the province. Now, he said, the government wanted to extend the system to 2,500 Basic Health Units (BHUs).

He said most of the schools (80pc) had single phase meters. “The need arose after we started thinking how to save and sell solar energy of these schools to the national grid during summer and winter vacations or after school hours.

For this we reached a consensus to have net-metering system in these schools having single phase meters. But under the net-metering regulations-2015, only those having three-phase meters can be given net-metering generation licenses. That is why we have decided to take up the issue with Nepra,” he explained.

Mr Yasin said if Nepra approved the proposal, all consumers having single phase meters across the country would become eligible to apply for net-metering.

To a question he said under the regulations, net-metering license can be issued only for solar and wind energy. “After having all schools on net-metering, we plan to introduce this clean energy system to 2,500 BHUs to sell additional energy to the national grid,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2021

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