Ecuador introduces net metering for solar up to 500 kW

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The Electricity Regulation and Control Agency of Ecuador (Arconel) has published new rules, which define the characteristics that consumers must comply with in order to install a PV microgeneration system under net metering.

Apart from regulating the sale of surplus of non-self-consumed energy to the grid, the new regulation entitles homeowners or businesses to install a single PV system on their properties, and requires a connection feasibility study. The maximum capacity of the systems has been extended temporarily from 100 kW to 300 kW for residential users, and up to 500 kW for industrial users. The term of operation under net metering has been set at 20 years.

Arconel will control the authorization process for, installation, operation and signing of, the supply contract, while the distribution company will grant the connection and install the meter.

The adoption of this new regulatory framework will support residential and commercial PV in Ecuador for the first time. As reported by the Government of Ecuador in July, cumulative installed PV power amounts to around 24 MW. The majority of this comes from large solar plants, which were tendered in 2013.

In total, the installed power of Ecuador amounts to about 8.2 GW, the majority of which is represented by hydroelectric power – 4.4 GW – and a thermoelectric plant, which has a capacity of 2.4 GW.