By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico doubled the number of households with net metering and solar distributed generation systems in 2023.
According to a LUMA Energy document filed with the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau this week. The island had more than 110,000 homes with net metering and solar distributed generation systems at the end of December 2023.
The amount is double the number of homes with net metering available in 2022, totaling about 382MW.
Net metering programs allow households, businesses, and industries to invest in renewable generation systems privately. This energy can be used for self-consumption, while surplus generation can be fed into the grid.
The document notes that the 110,000 distributed generation systems add about 766 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity.
On average, the company also added some 4,532 customers with distributed generation systems to the grid per month between October and December 2023. According to the document, approximately 63% of customers requesting such a grid connection get it in less than 30 days.
New customers with net metering systems increased by 7% in the October to December quarter compared to the July-September 2023 period, the document noted.
This week, Governor Pedro Pierluisi signed into law a measure penned by Sen. Juan Zaragoza that would amend Act 17-2019, known as the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, to require the Energy Bureau to carry out an independent study to evaluate and consider the costs and benefits associated with: the net metering program, the technologies distributed generation, smaller scale solar energy, and energy storage systems.
The study must allow interested parties and the general public to participate. It must conclude by five years after the Act 17-2019 entry into force, that is, on or before April 11, 2024.
Under the law, compensation and rates for net metering customers would remain unchanged during the initial five-year period. After the Energy Bureau completed the study, it could modify payment and rates for net metering customers. Any determination of the Energy Bureau regarding the Net Metering program would come into effect within the term established by the Bureau in this regard.
“We must oppose any attempts to impose a “sun tax” to finance a generation system that is outdated, inefficient, and polluting. Net metering gives customers clean energy and benefits the electric grid,” Zaragoza said on social media.