PUCSL to expedite grid connection process of domestic rooftop solar plants

Saturday, 28 January 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the regulator of the electricity sector, has directed the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company Ltd. (LECO) to connect domestic rooftop solar plants to the national grid within two weeks from the date of application. 

“The direction to provide the connection for rooftop solar plants to the national grid in an efficient manner within a timefame will encourage people to move for solar power,” Public Utilites Commission of Sri Lanka Director General Damitha Kumarasinghe said. 

Sri Lanka aims to add 200 MW of solar electricity to the national grid by 2020 and 1,000 MW by the year 2025.

Accordingly the PUCSL advised the distribution licensees (CEB and LECO) to expedite grid connection process of domestic rooftop solar plants within a timeframe of two weeks. PUCSL asked CEB and LECO to ensure completion of the grid connection and signing the net metering, net accounting or net plus agreements within the below mentioned timeframe:

1. Maximum acceptable time to provide the estimate for net meter installation shall be one week from the date of submission of the duly filled net metering application with the relevant application fee.

2. Maximum acceptable time to provide net meter installation and grid connection with signing the agreement shall be one week from receiving the payment for net meter installation. 

“Among the Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) sources, rooftop solar PV is considered as one of the fastest technologies to install and integrate into the grid. The Government’s ‘Soorya Bala Sangramaya’ (energy battle) program is one strategy to support future energy requirements and so far Sri Lanka has added about 42 megawatts of capacity to the national grid through domestic roofto p solar plants by the end of 2016,” Kumarasinghe added.

Sri Lanka has 7,904 domestic rooftop solar plants that are installed and connected to the national grid, data up to November 2016 reveals. 

This includes 256 rooftop solar plants in the Southern Province, 4,806 plants in the Western Province, 184 plants in the Central Province, 105 plants in the Sabaragamuwa Province, 249 plants in the North Western Province, 98 plants in the North Central Province, 1,707 plants in the Northern Province, 32 plants in the Uva Province and 73 solar plants in the Eastern Province. 

The total domestic rooftop solar plants before the ‘Soorya Bala Sangramaya’ stood at 6,485 and increased to 7,905 by end November 2016. A total of 1,420 domestic rooftop solar plants were added through the ‘Soorya Bala Sangramaya’ by end November 2016.

Generation of electricity through renewable energy sources has become a major concern for Government as well as private sector investors. 

The Government policy is to increase the existing 50% of electricity generation based on renewable energy sources to 60% by 2020 and to increase it further up to 70% by 2030 and to generate the total energy requirement through renewable and other indigenous energy resources by 2050.