LAHORE Lahore: Since the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) decision to allow commercial banks to provide lower-cost loans to convert tube-well operations into solar power in order to benefit from the net metering facility those who distribute power have begun receiving overwhelming responses from these people across the nation.
In accordance with the rules, tube-well connections requesting net metering for loads that is up to 25kW won’t require approval by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to grant of a generator licence, Dawn has discovered.
This facility won’t just transform the majority of these connections to solar, but will also allow users to generate and utilize the electricity themselves in addition to selling surplus electricity to their respective Discos. It will also manage commercial and technical losses (power losses because of technical or theft).
“The tube-well connections are able to be converted to net-metering , but the result was not satisfactory due to the substantial investment (around 2 to 3 million for each connection) as well as the lack of a the loan facility and lack of awareness. The SBP has offered a loan facility on the basis of a markup of 6 percent to launch these small-scale schemes,” explained Lahore Electric Supply Company’s Market Implementation and Regulatory Affairs Director-General AltafQadir during a chat to Dawn.
Furthermore, the rising power rates due to adjustments to the price of fuel and other problems have forced customers with tube-well connections to call us with this concern,” he added.
The project of net metering was first launched in 2016 throughout the country. It permits all residential industrial, commercial or other consumer with an a 3-phase meter to join the system of power production by putting it in their own premises (house shops, factories and open spaces, for example). As per the agreement, consumer can sell additional energy to the power distribution firm and take the necessary stocktaking (calculations) by the end of each month.
The system permits users to generate electricity ranging between one kilowatt and the power of one megawatt Nepra issue licences those who reside within the service area for all distributors. Prior to the issuance of the licence the company is required to review, accept and then process the application.
According to Mr Qadir There are hundreds of thousands tube well connections within the regions of service for all Nine Discos which include Lesco, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco), Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco), Gujaranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), Tribal Area Electric Supply Company (Tesco), Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco), Sukkar Electric Power Company (Sepco) and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco).
It’s worth noting that the majority of these connections are located in the vast rural region in Mepco. The range of connections is 60-70,000. Similar to that, Lesco has 25,000 to 30000 connections, and the majority are within their Kasur as well as Okara circles. Qesco, Gepco, Pesco, Hesco, Sepco and other companies also have a huge amount of connections.
In response to a question, Mr Qadir stated that Lesco has processed as many as 6,000 net metering-related applications, of which the majority (equaling up to 100MW or more) were issued a generator licences by Nepra.