The board of the National Agency of Electrical Energy (ANEEL) approved on April 17th rules to reduce barriers to the installation of distributed generation of up to 100 KW of power (micro generation), and from 100 KW to 1 MW of power (mini generation). The norm establishes the Energy Compensation System, which allows consumers to install small generators in their consumer units and exchange electricity with the local distributor. The rule applies to generators that use incentivized energy sources (hydro, solar, biomass, qualified cogeneration and wind).
With the system, a generating unit installed in a residence, for example, will produce power and the power not consumed will be injected into the distribution system, which will register credit to be applied to the consumption rate of the succeeding months. The credits can be used within a period of 36 months. Credit information will be included in the invoice to the consumers, so that they will know the balance of power and be able to manage the electricity bills.
Public agencies and companies with subsidiaries that choose to participate in the compensation system may also use the exceeding electricity produced in one of their facilities to reduce the bill ofanother unit.
Consumers whoinstall distributed (micro or mini) generation will initially be responsible for the costs of adapting the measurement system, required to deploy the compensation system. After the adaptation, the distributor will, in return, be responsible for its maintenance, including the costs of eventual replacement.
In addition, distributors will have up to 240 days after the publication of the resolution to prepare or review the technical standards to access the small generators, taking current regulations, Brazilian norms and eventually international norms into account.
The generation of electricity close to the place of consumption or at the consumer facility, called "distributed generation", brings a number of advantages over the traditional centralized generation. For example: reduction of transmission costs, reduction of losses in the networks and improvement of the quality of electricity service.
The new rules are addressed to generators using renewable energy sources, and with that, the agency hopes to provide better conditions for the sustainable development of the Brazilian electricity sector, through the adequate use of natural resources and efficient use of electrical networks.
Through consultation and a public hearing, the topic has been widely discussed with members of the community. The public hearing was open from 08/08/2011 to 10/14/2011, and a total number of 403 contributions were received from agents in the industry, universities, manufacturers, associations, consultants, students and politicians.
Besides the Power Compensation System, ANEEL also approved new rules for discounts on the Distribution System Usage Tariff (TUSD)* and the Transmission System Usage Tariff (TUST)for larger plants (up to 30 MW) using solar power:
? Enterprises that enter into commercial operation by December 31st, 2017, will have the discount of 80% applied to the tariffs during the first 10 years of operation.
? The discount will be reduced to 50% after the tenth year of plant operation.
? For the enterprises entering into commercial operation after December 31st, 2017, the 50% discounton the tariffs will be maintained.