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How Saudi on Grid Small-Scale PV IS FEASIBLE?

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Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Expert Independent Consultant ,Electric Power Systems Engineering, Free lancer

Summary Full Academic Qualification by obtaining B.Sc. (1971), M.Sc. (1980) and Ph.D. (1991) of Electric Power Engineering. Active continuous education by participating in long periods of...

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  • Mar 20, 2020

How Saudi on Grid Small-Scale PV IS FEASIBLE?


- Saudi Arabian Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA) has issued a declaration number (ECRA 2/47/41 dated 29/04/1441H) concerning the regulatory framework for addressing small-scale solar PV systems connected to the utility grid. I prefer to hit هيئة تنظيم الكهرباء والإنتاج المزدوج

-The installed capacity of the small-scale PV systems connected to the utility grid ranges between (1 kW to 2 MW), with a maximum permissible size equal to the contracted load per consumer.

- ECRA decided to apply the Net Billing Mechanism (NBM), where the exported electricity to the utility grid is credited at a fixed and pre-determined tariff rate. That is typically lower than the consumption electricity price. ECRA (the Saudi regulatory body) has set a rate of 7 halalas/kWh for any surplus electricity exported to the utility grid by residential PV.

Residential Tariffs

- It is worth mentioning that residential tariffs have two blocks:

  •  For consumption fewer than 6000 KWh/month, the consumer pays 18 halalas/KWh.
  • For consumption above 6000 KWh/month, the consumer pays 30 halalas/KWh.

Mitigating PV Loading Effects on Substations

-   To make sure that On-Grid PV will not impact negatively the substation loading levels, ECRA has imposed two PV loading levels:

  • For a single substation transformer, the total PV permissible loads are 15% of the transformer KW nameplate.
  • For a geographical distribution sector, the total PV permissible loads are 3% of maximum peak loads recorded for the previous year.

Assume a Saudi electricity consumer installed an On-Grid PV, how far this will be feasible?

- With PV, during sunshine hours some loads will be supplied out the utility grid resulting in reducing the monthly bill. In addition, an excess PV generation will be imported to the utility grid making revenue to the consumer. Both, saving in payment and revenue will be monthly benefits of PV installation. More loading from PV during sunshine hours gives more benefits.

- As long as monthly consumption passed to the highest rate of electricity (above 6000 KWh/month), the saving will be higher. As a result, the payback period will be shortening.

- I believe that the On-Grid PV main contribution to the utilities is energy conservation which tends to save investment costs of securing supply (generation, transmission, and distribution).




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Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Thank Dr. Amal for the Post!
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