In order to increase savings on electrical expenses, several households are investing in solar power to produce their own electricity. In this article we will explain how the energy compensation system is applied to self power generators.
ANEEL, the Electricity Regulatory Agency, has started in Brazil an energy compensating system that gives discounts on the electricity bill when there is a surplus in private generation. The system can be used in any power source, although it is more common with photovoltaic power, due to its practicality of deployment in homes.
Solar energy is considered to be a promising power source in Brazil, due to the high levels of solar radiation. Even though the country still lacks major solar plants for commercial scale generation, many households are already investing in the source due to the high prices of the electricity. Photovoltaic energy brings benefits such as savings and sustainability.
The power generation in houses, commerce and industries is considered by ANEEL as microgeneration and mini-generation. Microgeneration is every electrical generator with a deployed capacity power lower or equal to 100 kW, and mini-generation are those with a deployed power capacity superior to 100 KW and lower or equal to 1 MW.
Operation of photovoltaic energy generation in homes
The generation system is quite simple, since it requires a limited amount of equipment. Most of it is provided by companies that offer complete solutions for the system, including deployment and analysis of the generation conditions. The cost for setting up the system is not specified by ANEEL and must be paid exclusively by the consumer, since the energy providers do not offer any kind of equipment or refund.
There are no restrictions for the location of the deployment in Brazil, which means you can also use the system in rural areas, noting that it must be associated to a consumption unit and an energy provider. In addition there is the off-grid system, that uses a battery charged by the panels to supply the house when the power generated by the panel is not sufficient. This can be more expensive and, therefore, not commonly used. The deployed power capacity of the microgeneration or minigereration distributed is limited to the deployed electric charge or to the demand hired by the consumption unit.
The energy generated by the panels are sent to a power conditioning system that control and transform the current into enough power to adequately operate electric goods in the house. The energy storage system, such as batteries, is optional for those connected directly to the power grid. Usually a two-way meter is used, in order to measure the electricity that leaves and enters the house.
The price of deployment ranges from BRL 12,000 to BRL 24,000 in small houses, with a consumption rate of 1.5 KWp to 2 KWp. A system with 1 MWp can reach BRL 6 million. A return on the investment of the generation system can be expected in about 5 to 10 years.
Electric Energy Compensation System
The compensation system is defined as any system that returns to the local grid, with no extra charges, the surplus of its generation, resulting in a discount on the bill according to specific rules. Clients of low and medium power such as industry, commerce and homes can require the compensation system.
ANEEL published general regulations for microgeneration and mini-generation, but each local provider adapt some of it according to the technical specifications on the grid. So, in order to obtain the specifications, you must contact the provider on their website or via their customer service.
The compensation system must follow strict charging rules already determined by ANEEL. The energy generated must be used to compensate the energy consumption in a time interval on the same time period as it was produced. For example, what is generated during peak hours, that range from 5PM to 10PM, will only be compensated what is consumed during this time period. If there are remaining credits, they can be used in other consumption units chosen by the client that are registered in the program, until they are paid. The credits are valid for a 36-month period. Since 2012, all Brazilian energy providers are able to support private generation, and must provide within 60 days of request all information the customer needs to know about the process.