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More than 46,000 customers with active net metering systems could have to pay for network upgrades

More than 46,000 customers with active net metering systems could have to pay for network upgrades

From over 87,000 customer accounts Loma Energy With active net metering systems, more than half of them undergo a “pre-study” phase, which in some cases may result in the subscriber paying an additional cost.

This additional payment will be applied if it turns out that interconnection requires some kind of improvement in the distribution network.

In a public hearing Puerto Rico Energy Office (NEPR), LUMA executives confirmed on Tuesday that, to date, no scenario has been recorded where, after the so-called “supplementary study,” a residential customer is asked to bear the cost of the improvement, although they acknowledge that it has happened with commercial consumers. Who have installed interconnected systems.


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In short, improvements may be necessary to adapt the power of the feeder or converter to the power produced by customers’ installed systems, thus avoiding safety problems. For example, according to Eng Raul Perezfrom LUMA, any system with a capacity exceeding 15% of that reported by the feeder connected to the customer will be the subject of a supplementary study.

In total, there are approximately 46,000 cases that the consortium keeps classified as pre-study, which means that the analysis that would lead to a determination of whether a supplementary study is required has not been performed, which in turn allows us to conclude whether a link should be made. Link to some improvement. However, LUMA allowed grid interconnection, which must be approved by law within 30 days for systems not exceeding 25 kilowatts (kW) of capacity.

He added: “The effort is being made to activate net metering and not to terminate the case, and to close it so that the case is complete and not waiting for supplementary studies that can later cancel net metering for a client who has already been granted.” , in a public hearing, the lawyer Pedro Vasquez MenendezRepresent Independent Consumer Protection Bureau (International Police Organization).

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NEPR Assistant Commissioner Lillian Mateo Santos For its part, it warned that although LUMA stated that so far, it was not necessary to charge the cost of improvements to the residential consumer, it would be a scenario that would come into play as the penetration of distributed generation systems progressed.

“LUMA should make some action plans so that, just as the ‘backlog’ (delay) of interconnection activation in the invoice is reduced, we work with this ‘backlog’ and the cases are finally closed and ‘this customer, unless… An unexpected situation occurs, or this customer provides incorrect or incorrect information, they do not have to consider this request again.”

Yamil Riverawho is also a LUMA engineer, explained, For purposes of supplemental studies, the consortium charges a flat fee of $300 to customers with distributed systems of less than 25 kilowattsAs for systems exceeding this limit, the customer will cover the actual cost. If, after the study, it is necessary, for example, to replace the transformer, the privatization company will provide the equipment free of charge, but the consumer who “caused” the improvement will have to cover the cost of installation.

LUMA Network Update Manager, Maria Hilda RiveraHe noted that as part of the review of the tariff model – which officially began this month – there could be an in-depth analysis of how to cover the cost of the work necessary to adapt the network to interconnections at the residential level. .

However, whether Commissioner Ferdinand Ramos Sogard Mateo Santos also pointed this out The law that enabled net metering explicitly states that the costs correspond specifically to the consumer who “causes” the need for the business.

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At the public hearing, LUMA reviewed its report detailing that in the July-September quarter, 13,300 interconnection requests were submitted, of which 13,231 were from customers with a capacity of less than 25 kilowatts, which are called “expedited cases.” This quarter, the alliance was able to connect 59% within the specified 30-day period, while 41% exceeded that period.

However, in response to the proposals of Vázquez Menéndez, of the OIPC, Commissioner Mateo Santos added that LUMA will be asked to amend its reports to clarify the duration of those interconnection instances that are “extensions”, i.e. whose duration exceeds parameters of a quarter.