Solar Cells, NVE | You have to pay more in rent online so your neighbor doesn’t have to pay

Solar Cells, NVE |  You have to pay more in rent online so your neighbor doesn’t have to pay

Nettavisen recently wrote about Øyvind Halseth, who recently installed solar cells on the roof, and witnessed the production cut off every time there were good sunny conditions.

Also read: Solar cells cut off electricity production when sun conditions are better

The reason is that the electricity network in the neighborhood was very weak. When production was high and consumption was low, the factory simply had to cut production to prevent damage to the network.

As a result, the NOK 300,000 plant was virtually inactive for several months.

Do you want to pay more so your neighbor doesn’t have to pay?

The issue was resolved for Halseth the day after Nettavisen’s visit, after the local internet company upgraded the network. The fact that the online company has solved the problem is completely in accordance with the NVE guidelines.

On the other hand, network company Norgesnett is worried about future developments, because the millions are pouring in.

Because there is a problem: Who should pay the network upgrade bill?

Already in March of this year, NVE sent a letter to the government in which they wrote that this was a huge challenge:

– Many network companies believe that upgrades will result in large investment costs, such as Payment is made by all customers of the network company through online rental. Grid companies believe it does not make social sense for one customer’s investment in solar systems, which would require a grid upgrade, to be paid for by all others, NVE wrote in the letter.

In practice, network companies have two sources of income. One is the Internet rent, which everyone pays for operation and maintenance. The other is called a “construction contribution” for work initiated by the individual client. It may be, for example, that you are building a new house in the garden, and the power grid needs to be updated to handle the increased use.

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Most people would agree that it is unreasonable for all other electric customers to pay your money causing extra work for the electric company.

But upgrades after solar cells, with current regulations, will not primarily result in the person buying the solar cells paying for the grid upgrade.

The reason is that as long as you don’t have to upgrade the main fuse, customers have the right to send the same amount of electricity into and out of the house. This is even if the network is not sized such that everyone can make the most of the network at all times.

– In practice, this means that if the customer stays at the mains fuse size and a voltage surge in the grid leads to a breach of supply quality regulations, it is the grid company that bears the cost of upgrading the grid, NVE writes.

– Increased costs as a result of grid upgrades due to solar systems can increase the grid rent to other grid company customers. In practice, this means that all of the grid company’s customers must cover the costs of someone who wants to feed power from large solar systems, they assert.

Consider whether the rules need to be changed

So NVE started working to look at the available alternative solutions to the current solution.

In practice, they look at three solutions:

– This will lead, among other things, to costly investments in networks that are not initially ripe for upgrading. In other words, it will lead to an irrational development of the distribution network, as the costs incurred by a small number of customers are covered by other customers of the network company, NVE writes.

  • Introduced a new rule that online customers can only use a certain percentage of the principal insurance. If they wanted to use more, it could lead to a building grant.
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– The purpose of the percentage limit is that the online customer has a right to the capacity, moreover the online customer must receive a price signal through building contributions if the limit is exceeded and this requires reinvestment in the network. This will also give incentives to customers to combine production with storage, for example batteries. Today, the customer has no special incentives to adapt the input.

They envision a limit of 50-60 percent of the main security. In this case, that would mean that the maximum for solar systems was cut from about 15 kW to about 8 kW.

  • Customers paid for the electricity they could not sell due to the bad network

Since solar systems operate in most cases part-time or most of the time, according to NVE, one could envision a solution where grid companies pay customers for losses during periods when grid restrictions are in place.

In the world of power, this is often referred to as “cutting back”—paying for not being productive.

“Our hypothesis is that this happens for a relatively few hours a year, and that operational measures such as throttling production would be possible,” NVE writes.

Pay the price of not using subsidized generation of electricity

The state and the NVE face a rather difficult dilemma. More energy production is needed, and today Enova provides government support for the purchase and installation of solar cell production.

At the same time, this development leads to what NVE refers to as “irrational development of the distribution network” – or that you have to pay for electricity that cannot be used.

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Solar cells today are considered a subsidized development, and insofar as they also entail additional costs at the top that must be borne by society, is it appropriate to allow the delivery of such production in places where there is no absorptive capacity?

– Individuals can apply for subsidies from Enova, among others, for their own electricity production. This is not part of our jurisdiction, and therefore we will not be commenting on the subsidy scheme, Division Head Torfinn Jonassen at NVE-RME wrote to Nettavisen.

– The online customer (home and business) gets capacity when it is connected to the network. Today, customers are entitled to full utilization of this capacity for both intake (consumption) and input (production). In some cases, solar power generation can cause voltage problems in the power grid. So we set to work where we, along with grid companies and the solar industry, will seek to find good solutions to the voltage problem, Jonassen says.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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