Oman’s Authority for Electricity Regulation is expected to issue the new regulatory framework for small scale grid-connected solar PV systems by end of March, said a top official.
Thereafter customers will be allowed to install solar PV systems to generate electricity and export surplus to the grid, said project manager Hilal Al Ghaithi.
The new standards define the requirements to be fulfilled by solar PV generating plants which intend to operate in parallel with the distribution networks. In addition, connection guidelines have also been developed to provide information for customers, consultants and contractors on the essential aspects which have to be taken into consideration in order to connect a Solar PV system to the distribution networks.
All future small scale grid-connected solar PV systems would have to go through relevant distribution companies. Therefore, a typical connection process has been established which provides general procedures to be followed by distribution companies when allowing the connection of a solar PV system to the distribution network, from the application stage up to the operation stage.
The study also made recommendations on the experience, competence, training and certification required for installers to qualify to undertake any work related to grid connected solar PV systems. The Authority has already written to the Distribution Code Review Panel (DCRP) to adhere to these requirements when certifying solar PV systems installers and contractors.
Al Ghaithi said: “What has been achieved is a step forward towards the realization of the deployment of renewable energy in Oman.”
“The Authority is currently discussing the proposed standards including the connection process with relevant Government entities to incorporate their requirements in the proposed connection process. These include relevant municipalities and the Public Authority for Civil Defence. We will conduct a public consultation to take into consideration the views of the public and relevant stakeholders on the proposed standards for grid-connected solar PV systems,” he added.
“With regard to the incentive scheme, we are finalising a framework which provides incentives for electricity generated from solar PV systems. Also the general public and relevant stakeholders will be given the opportunity to provide their views and comments on the proposed scheme.
“The Authority will continue the coordination with the Public Authority for SME Development to facilitate and create business opportunities for local SME’s in solar PV field and the best way to train, register, and certify those SMEs,” he noted.