Puerto Rico proposes changes to its net metering program

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Puerto Rico’s Electrical Energy Authority (AEE) has presented a series of modifications to its net metering program to benefit PV installations, according to a press release by the organization. The island territory has a greater volume of distributed generation PV systems than any nation in the Caribbean.

AEE proposed making interconnection transactions for PV projects up to 10 kW simpler and faster, including the establishment of one agreement for interconnection and net metering. The agency notes that 87% of PV systems which are interconnected correspond to installations in this capacity range.

The proposal also incorporates new programs for net metering aggregation and shared net metering. The first will be open to public institutions, particularly government entities and universities, and the second for the residential and commercial segments.

To simplify the process, AEE will eliminate project inspection, which is currently carried out by its staff. Among other changes, AEE is contemplating removing the requirement for a manual disconnect for PV systems up to 300 kW.

With these changes, AEE hopes to boost net metering installations on the island. “We have proposed an advanced rule whose purpose is to simplify and speed the process of connection for grid connection of solar projects, while reducing the costs for PV systems from 1-5 MW,” confirmed AEE’s executive director.

This proposal for net metering rule changes will not go to Puerto Rico’s Energy Commission (CEPR).

According to AEE, there are currently 177 MW of commercial PV systems, 104 MW of contracted projects under construction and 110 MW of distributed generation PV. At the first of last year there were only around 61 MW of distributed generation PV systems in Puerto Rico, and of those 41 MW participated in net metering.

AEE estimates that it is possible to interconnect 600 MW of distributed generation to the island’s electrical grid.

This article was translated by Christian Roselund. For the original in Spanish, please see the pv magazine Latinoamérica website.