Power Division has issued official order to all the six power distribution utilities of the country asking each of them to purchase rooftop solar power from at least 20 consumers within next three months under net metering system.
The six distribution utilities are power Development Board (PDB), Rural Electrification Board (REB), Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC), Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco), West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd (WZPDC) and North West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (Nesco).
According to official sources, the Power Division’s renewable energy desk issued the order last week.
“We have already received the Power Division order and started planning to implement it”, WZPDC managing director, Md Shafique Uddin, told UNB.
He noted that now NWPDC will find out 20 potential consumers from within its command area in next 3 months.
Power Division on July 28 unveiled “Net Metering Guideline 2018” in order to buy rooftop solar power from the consumers.
Under the proposed system, any consumer can set up rooftop solar system covering upto 70 percent capacity of the sanctioned load and sell the additional or unconsumed solar power after meeting his/her demand through an exchange arrangement by a special meter.
The idea is that the consumers will use their own solar power alongside the grid. But on holidays when solar power is not used, the consumers can sell it to the national grid. Even, on the working days, they can preserve their solar power to grid and sell it to his power supplying company or take it back for its own consumptions.
After end of the month, bills will be adjusted on the basis of consumption and sale of solar power to the utilities and the consumer will get payment from the distribution company at bulk rate if his sale overruns the consumption.
Unveiling this guideline, Power Secretary Dr. Ahmed Kaikaus announced that each of the distribution companies must buy solar power from at least 20 consumers. It will be treated as a key target under their annual performance agreement (APA) signed with the ministry.
Power Cell Director Md Abdur Rouf, who was involved in framing the guideline, said there is no lower limit of a consumer’s solar capacity. But the upper limit of the capacity is three megawatt.
He said the order on rooftop solar came as a follow-up of the Power Division’s decision to buy rooftop solar power as part of its move to promote renewable energy across the country.
Power Cell officials believe the government will be able to buy about 10-12 MW power from rooftop consumers as many large consumers like industries, apartment complex, shopping malls and hotels have already set up rooftop solar power plants for their own consumptions as part of the government policy.
Even, individual consumers, who installed rooftop solar power system, can sell the extra electricity to the government through the net metering system.
Officials said the government has initiated the move to introduce the net metering system aiming to promote rooftop solar energy across the country as part of its plan to generate 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
There is a target to general 3,168 MW power from renewable energy sources by 2021 in compliance with UN-set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well, said an official of the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda).