Sunday, October 1, 2023

CRE prepares ‘penalty’ for solar panels

The federal government will “punish” small businesses that use solar panels to generate electricity for their own use and feed their surplus into the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) grid.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) is preparing a project for CFE to pay new medium-voltage users generating between 25 and 500 kilowatts 72 cents for every kilowatt fed into the grid.

That’s nearly a quarter of the 3 pesos that CFE sells for every kilowatt, which will mean it will take small businesses longer to recoup their solar panel investments, experts say.

Victor Ramrez, an expert on energy issues, said the aim is to pay the lowest possible price, namely the auction system, on the pretext that if it is higher, the end user will have to pay at the end.

“That’s wrong because it’s like the end users paid with their receipts, and no, energy is also paid from legacy contracts and the electricity market, so everything CFE has to buy to meet demand.”

“That means I pay the tax-exempt generator as little as possible, and CFE gets everything, including its inefficiencies,” he said.

José Emilio Caballero, director of Solardec, said that the new rules are still under study and that the companies that already work under this system or have an application for a medium-voltage solar self-consumption contract will keep their surpluses in a bag for later consumption for up to 12 months.

“These changes will only apply to the next medium-voltage users, who are mostly small businesses, as the big companies consume all the solar energy they produce and hardly have any surplus,” he said.

Although 10 percent of those users are medium-voltage companies with more than 50 solar panels, they contribute 60 percent of the electricity generation under this program, he explained.

With the changes, it will be more profitable to buy batteries to store excess, reliable, and uninterrupted energy for users, agree Hernán Zambrano and Luis Chavarra, directors of solar panel companies Galt Energy and Kepler Oil and Gas.

Companies have to invest around 500 dollars per kilowatt in storage systems.

The project has been in consultation with the Federal Commission for Regulatory Improvement (Cofemer) since last November, and an update was sent out last week for clarification and eventual publication in the DOF.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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