Although its colorful flag features a gold sun with 12 triangular rays, Namibia has had limited success with solar development to date.
The new net-metering scheme, however, could now spur development of commercial and residential PV across the country. The implementation of the program is now moving forward with the publication of the scheme’s long-awaited tariffs.
The applicable rates were released by the ECB on its website. It specified that the new rates will not be paid in monetary terms and that they must be intended as avoided costs. Under the scheme, power consumed by the owner of a PV system will be credited at the equivalent avoided energy cost of the utility.
The article 7 of the regulation states: “A distribution licensee must provide to customer-generators electricity services at non-discriminatory rates that are identical, with respect to rate structure, retail rate components and any monthly charges, to the rates that a customer-generator would be charged if not a customer-generator, including choice of retail tariff schedules,”
The mechanism, which is open to PV projects below 500 kVa, was introduced by the government in November 2016. The Ministry of Justice approved the program in December.
PV systems under the scheme will be allowed to start injecting surplus power into the local grid from July 1, 2017. Net metering consumers are exempted from the requirement to obtain a generation license.
Local utility NamPower will allow customers to connect PV systems on a first-come, first-served basis until 15% of the maximum demand of the main feeder line serving a specific group of customers is reached.