The Hon’ble Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission has created the BERC (Rooftop Solar Grid Interactive Systems based on Net Metering) Regulations, 2015 in order to encourage the growth of small and rooftop solar photovoltaic systems in Bihar.
These regulations were published in Gazette Notification No. 737 on July 7, 2015. These regulations allow customers to install rooftop and small solar photovoltaic systems on their property with the provision of a net metering arrangement, where the electricity produced by the rooftop and small solar photovoltaic systems owned by the customer and delivered to the distribution licensee shall be used to balance the electricity supplied to the customer by the distribution licensee during the applicable billing period and adjustment/accounting.
The Board of Directors of the Company adopted Resolution No. 73’12 at its 73rd meeting on December 11, 2017, in order to implement the aforementioned regulations and make use of the aforementioned facility. This resolution outlines the procedure that field officers must follow, and it also authorizes the installation of rooftop and small solar photovoltaic systems with net metering arrangements for willing consumers.
The system, known as net metering, enables distribution companies to keep track of users’ energy usage and production. With the help of this system, users who produce some or all of their own power can utilize it whenever they want rather than just when it is produced. Consider a consumer who produces and consumes electricity and has excess energy as an example. Energy that is produced in excess is fed into the grid. Another facility exists where the extra energy can be fed into the grid and used as needed. This service is referred to as “banking.”
State and national policies on net metering can differ greatly from one another. Most net metering legislation requires KWh credits to be rolled over each month. Net metering may measure the current flowing in both directions and uses single-and bi-directional meters to do so. Installation of net metering, which is entirely accountable as an accounting operation and doesn’t need any particular permission or agreement, is possible. For the state of Bihar, the list of factors taken into account for the net metering policy is stated one at a time.
Rooftop Solar Grid Interactive Systems Based on Net-Metering Regulations, 2015. Dated 6th, July 2015 (South Bihar)
- Distributor and customers of Distributor of the State of Bihar.
- System must be placed on the customer’s property.
Capacity of each individual plant and eligible consumers of Net Metering (Bihar)
- Every qualifying customer in the Distribution Licensee’s supply region
- Any qualified consumer’s solar energy system must have a capacity of between one kWp and one MWp when it is installed on their property.
Getting connected to the grid Net Metering (Bihar)
- The net meter and solar meter must meet the requirements for accuracy class, standards, and specifications as stated in the CEA Regulations.
- A grid-interactive SPV with or without battery backup may be installed by a power producer.
Surcharge for the Wheeling & Cross Subsidy –
- Not subject to the Banking, Wheeling, or cross-subsidy surcharges
- Customers who use net meters cannot use banking services
Metering Configuration Net Metering (Bihar)
- At the point that consumers connect to the Distribution Licensee’s network, a net meter must be installed.
- At the location where the solar energy system is delivered, a solar meter will be installed.
- Rooftop check meters are required greater than 20 kW capacity solar systems
- If the consumer is subject to a time-of-day tariff, meters capable of tracking daily usage and production must be used.
Scope and Application: Net Metering (North Bihar)
According to the BERC (Rooftop Solar Grid Interactive Systems based on Net Metering) Regulations, 2015, which were announced by the Honorable Commission on July 7, 2015, eligible electricity consumers in the distribution licensee’s area of supply are eligible to take part in the solar rooftop net metering arrangement.
Any eligible consumer’s eligibility for connection with the grid will determine the minimum rooftop solar system capacity that must be installed at their premises. With a minimum capacity of 1 KWp, the maximum capacity of a single rooftop PV system would be equal to the sanctioned load of the consumer. Please refer to Greenon Energy’s Solar calculator.
Any eligible consumer’s eligibility for connection with the grid will determine the minimum rooftop solar system capacity that must be installed at their premises. With a minimum capacity of 1 KWp, the maximum capacity of a single rooftop PV system would be equal to the sanctioned load of the consumer.
Consumers having previous dues will not be allowed to take part in net metering scheme
- Procedure for application:
For LT Consumer:
- . The Eligible Consumer who proposes to install a solar energy system in his premises shall submit application to the Revenue collection counter in the office of the AEE, Electric Supply Sub-division in the prescribed Application form (Annexure —II), which can be downloaded from the website of DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE/BSPHCL or which can be obtained from the concerned Electric Supply Sub-division/Division office of DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE and deposit the same in concerned Subdivision office along with the application fee as specified in (Annexure —VIII). The eligible consumer who intends to install grid connected rooftop solar systems, in the supply area of distribution licensee shall be treated on first come first serve basis. The priority for such application shall be maintained at the Subdivision office for which a separate register shall be maintained.
- Within Seven (7) working days of receipt of Eligible Consumer’s application, Assistant Electrical Engineer of concerned Electric Supply Subdivision shall perform general screening and register the application with an acknowledgement (Attached in Application Form) to the applicant that it has received all documents required as per the standard interconnection agreement and requisite application fee.
- Feasibility for the connection of roof top shall be done by Assistant Electrical Engineer of concerned Electric Supply Subdivision within fifteen (15) working days from the receipt of completed application,
- The Applicant at his liberty to select a reputed system installer, to gather technical information of RTSPV system and furnish the technical details of PV modules, Inverters and other equipment of the RTSPV system.
- If any discrepancies in application form or during inspection of premises is found then AEE, Supply will inform in writing to the applicant within next seven (7) days
- The applicant will execute an interconnection agreement with the concerned AEE, Electric Supply Sub-division.
- The applicant will provide a declaration regarding work completion of installation of Solar Photovoltaic Roof Top Power Plant with a document of solar modules having ISI mark. After receipt of declaration towards work completion from applicant, testing, commissioning and synchronization of RTSPV system along with metering arrangement for net metering connection will be done under supervision of concerned AEE/JEE, Electric Supply Division within next seven (7) working days. The meters will be tested at MRT test lab.
AEE, Electric Supply Sub-division will send service connection reports to the billing office within 7 days.
Interconnection with the Grid Net Metering (Bihar)
- The interconnection of the rooftop solar system with the network of the DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE shall conform to the technical specifications, standards and provisions as provided in the Central Electricity Authority (technical Standards for connectivity of the Distributed Generation resources) Regulations, 2013 & Central Electricity Authority(Measures related to Safety and Electric Supply) Regulations, 2010 as amended from time to time.
- The Net meter and solar meter installed should conform to the standards, specifications and accuracy class as provided in the Central Electricity Authority (Installation and operation of Meters) Regulations, 2006, as amended from time to time and are installed in such a way that they are accessible for reading.
The connectivity level at which the rooftop PV Solar Power Plant shall be connected with the Grid are as specified below or it may be decided to give connection as per level
as defined by the Electricity Supply Code
l Upto 5 kW 240 V —Single Phase
- Above 5 kW and up to 45 kW/50kVA 400 V — Three Phase
- Above 45 kW/50kVA and up to lMW l lkV & above as applicable
The solar power producer is responsible for the safe operation, maintenance, and rectification of any defect in the solar energy system up to the point of net meter, after which the distribution licensee is responsible for the safe operation and maintenance.
- The consumer shall be solely responsible for any accident to human beings/animals whatsoever (fatal/non-fatal/ departmental/non-departmental) that may occur due to back feeding from the Solar Power generator plant when the Grid supply is off. The distribution licensee reserves the right to disconnect the consumer’s installation at any time to the event of such emergencies to prevent accident or damage to man and material.
In the event of any accident, which can be attributable solely or partly to the act of negligence of the consumer, the consumer shall be liable to compensate the damages incurred in terms of compensation, if any, to be paid to the deceased/victims and to the distribution licensee as decided by any CGRF/court/state Govt./other statutory bodies . The consumer will ensure the proper functioning of the islanding system of solar modules 24*7 for the entire period of its operation and its connection to the licensee system through net metering.
The DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE reserves the right to disconnect the Solar Energy
System at any time in the following condition:
- The DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE will have the liberty to conduct tests on the RTSPV and its associated systems as per relative standard & as per DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE standard to ensure the quality of power generated from the solar PV system.
- Any alternate source of supply shall be restricted to the consumer network and THE consumer shall be responsible to take adequate safety measures to prevent battery power/ diesel generator power/ backup power extending to DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE LT Grid on failure of Grid supply.
- The rooftop PV Solar power plant should be capable of detecting an unintended islanding condition. These systems must have anti — islanding protection to prevent any unfavorable conditions including failure of supply. IEC- 62116 shall be followed to test islanding prevention measures for Grid connected PV Inverters.
- Every Rooftop PV Solar Power Plant shall be equipped with automatic synchronization
device, either with a separate device or the same is inherently built into the inverter.
- The Rooftop PV solar power plant operating in parallel with the electricity system shall be equipped with the following protective function, to sense abnormal conditions on electricity system and cause the rooftop PV Solar Power plant to be automatically disconnected from the electricity system inappropriately:
i. Over and under voltage trip functions if voltage reaches above l 10% or below 80% of normal connected voltage respectively with a clearing time up to two second, however DISTRIBUTlON LICENSEE may prescribe a narrow range of Voltage for the purpose.
- Every time the Rooftop PV Solar Power Plant of the Eligible Consumer is Synchronized to the Electricity System, it shall not Cause Voltage fluctuation greater than A5% at the point of interconnection.
- Prior to synchronization of the Rooftop PV Solar Power Plant for the first time with the electricity system, the applicant and the appropriate licensee shall agree on the protection features and control diagrams.
- The power conditioning unit shall have the features of filtering out harmonics and other distortions before injecting the energy into the system of the DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE. The technical standards, power quality standards and inverter standards shall
Metering Arrangement for Net Metering (Bihar)
- . The metering system shall be as per the provisions of CEA (Installation & operation of meters) Regulations, 2006, CEA (Measures relating to Safety and electricity supply) Regulations, 2010 and CEA(technical standards for Connectivity of the distributed generation resources), Regulations,20l3 as amended from time to time and in compliance with the norms fixed by BERC/CERC from time to time.
- The DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE shall provide meters as per provision in Bihar Electricity Supply Code, 2007 as amended from time to time. The Net Meter shall be installed at the interconnection point of the eligible consumer with the network of DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE.
- A Separate solar meter shall be installed at the delivery point of the solar energy system to measure the quantum of solar energy generated by the Eligible Consumer.
- Check meters shall be mandatory for rooftop solar systems having capacity more than 20 kW. For installations size of less than and equal to 20 kW, the solar Check meters would be optional.
- The cost of meter(s) (Net Meter, Solar Meter, Check Meter), Installation / Replacement (if any) shall be borne by the eligible consumer under the provisions of Bihar Electricity Supply Code, 2007 and its amendment issued from time to time.
- The Meter shall be tested, installed and sealed in accordance with the provisions of CEA (Installation and operation of Meters) Regulations, 2006 and provisions under Bihar Electricity Supply Code, 2007 as amended from time to time. It shall be jointly inspected and sealed by the licensee on behalf of both the parties. It shall be tested by the licensee and installed in presence of the consumer and the licensee with due acknowledgement. Provided that the eligible consumer shall follow the metering specifications, provisions for placement of meter as developed by the distribution licensee from time to time and as per the Bihar Electricity Supply Code, 2007 and its amendments issued from time to time; Provided further that in case the eligible consumer is under the ambit of time of day
- Both the meters (Solar and Bi-directional) shall be installed after testing and sealing in DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE MRT lab for which consumer shall deposit necessary testing fee as prescribed in Bihar Electricity Supply Code, 2007 and its amendments issued from time to time.
- The Net Meter shall be installed at the interconnection point of the eligible consumer with the network of DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE. The solar meter shall be installed at the delivery point of the solar energy system to measure the solar energy generated. Provided that for the existing consumers, the consumer meter (if any) shall be replaced with the bi-directional/net meter.
Provided further that consumers having ABT compliant meters (capable of performing the functions of the Net Meter) shall not be required to install additional net meter
- The solar meter shall be installed at the delivery point of the solar energy system after the inverter to measure the solar energy generated duly tested by DISTRIBUTION LICENSEE.
These meters shall have the facility for downloading meter readings using Meter Reading
Provided, if bills are prepared on the basis of MRI downloads or if meter reading is taken on the basis of Remote Meter-Reading (RMR) and the consumer wishes to have a record of the reading taken, he shall be allowed so by the distribution licensee.
- The technical standards for meters shall be as per Annexure-IX and shall comply with the standards specified by CEA from time to time.
Energy Accounting and Settlement: Net Metering (Bihar)
For each billing period, the Licensee shall show the quantum of injected electricity by eligible consumer in the billing period, supplied electricity by distribution licensee in the billing period, net billed electricity for payment by the consumer for that billing period and net carried over electricity to the next billing period separately;
Provided that in the event the electricity injected exceeds the electricity supplied during the billing period, such excess injected electricity shall be carried forward to next billing period as electricity credit and may be utilized to net electricity injected or consumed in future billing periods;
Provided further that in the event the electricity supplied by the distribution licensee during any billing period exceeds the electricity generated by the eligible consumer’s rooftop solar system, the distribution licensee shall raise invoice for the net electricity consumption after taking into account any electricity credit balance remaining from previous billing periods; The net energy imported has to be billed by the distribution licensee as per tariff in force applicable to that category of consumers.
If the eligible customer is subject to a time of day tariff, as determined by the Commission from time to time, the electricity consumption in any time block (e.g., peak hours, off-peak hours, etc.) shall be compensated first with the electricity generation in the same time block. Any accumulated excess generation over consumption in any other billing cycle time block must be accounted for as if it occurred during the off-peak time block.
Provided also that the excess electricity measured in kilo-watt hour may only be utilized to offset the consumption measured in kilo-watt hour (kWh) and may not be utilized to compensate any other fee and charges imposed by the distribution licensee as per the instructions of Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission
In addition to the consumer tariff, the distribution licensee may raise an invoice for any other charges permitted by the Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission.
- Permission from Electrical Inspector:
- Safety and installation certificates for the installation of Solar PV should be obtained from the Electrical inspector, Govt. of Bihar for all HT/LTIS and commercial Connection. Other LT Domestic consumers will have to produce Green Cards from licensed Electrical Contractor. Regarding installations and wiring following provisions of clauses and the amendments issued from time to time with regard to Bihar Electricity Supply Code, 2007 is to be adhered: –
- The work of wiring in the consumer’s premises shall be carried out by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and should conform to the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956 until rules/’regulation are framed under section 53 of the Act as well as the rules of the Fire The insurance company in terms of which the building is insured. The materials used for The wiring shall conform to the relevant specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards or its equivalent. Wherever applicable, the materials used shall bear the ISI or IEC mark. As soon as the consumer’s installation is completed in all respects and tested by the consumer’s contractor, the consumer should submit the contractor’s test report to the licensee. The test report form (Annexure-3) for this purpose shall be submitted to the local office of the licensee.
- As required by rule 45 of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956, no electrical installation work, including addition, alteration, repair and adjustment to existing installation – except the replacement of lamps, fans, fuses, switches and other component parts of the installations – which in rio way alter the capacity or character of the installation, shall be carried out in the premises on behalf of any consumer or owner for the purpose of supply of energy to such consumer or owner, except by an electrical contractor licensed by the State Government in this behalf and under the direct supervision of a person holding a certificate of competency or by a person holding a permit issued or recognized by the State Government.
- .Any person committing breach of rule 45 shall render himself liable to punishment under rule 139 of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956.
- Provisions of rule 32 of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956 should be complied with in respect of consumer’s installation. No cut-out, link or switch other than a linked switch arranged to operate the earthed and live conductors simultaneously,
Please find the link to the Official Document released by The Government of South Bihar https://www.breda.bih.nic.in/Uploads/Policies%20_Act%20_%20Regulations/NET_Metering_Guidline.pdf
Please find the link to the Official Document released by The Government of North Bihar https://www.biabihar.com/images/PDF/Net%20metering.pdf