The Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) of Nicaragua announced the publication of the new regulation for self-consumption and net metering (Normativa de Generación Distribuida Renovable para Autoconsumo) in the country’s official gazette.
With the publication of the new rules, it will now become possible for the owners of electricity generators from solar and renewable sources with a capacity of up to 5 MW to sell the surplus of energy that is not self-consumed to Nicaraguan distribution companies.
The new regulations establish the requirements, criteria, technical and commercial procedures that must be met by small power producers and the distribution companies to sign a net metering contract.
The electricity sold to the distributors will be paid at 80% of the lowest price of the reference band approved by the MEM. In a document published by the ministry in June, the reference band for solar had been indicated at about US$70 per MWh. Previously that value was US$118 per MWh.
The new regulation was approved by the country’s Parliament in June. In the same month, Nicaraguan state-owned electric transmission company, Enatrel had announced a feasibility study for assessing how distributed power generation could impact on the Nicaraguan power system.
In December, the local Parliament also approved a reform of the Law 532 for the Promotion of Electric Generation with Renewable Sources, which extends the fiscal incentives for renewable energy for another five years.
Through its new renewables policies, the Nicaraguan government aims to increase the share of energy generation based on renewable energies from approximately 55% in 2018 to 64% in 2023, and 73% in 2030.