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OERC puts off operation of solar-rooftop project to January

The Office of the Energy Regulatory Commission (OERC) has postponed the commercial operation date (COD) for its "solar rooftop" project to January as the caretaker premier is unable to set up a meeting with the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO).

The rooftop solar-panel project, which was originally set to kick off on December 31, had to be delayed by a month as most operators were not able to comply with EPPO's regulations due to complications in city-planning laws and registration rules.

Apart from problems with the paperwork, many spare parts that are crucial to manufacture solar panels are missing due to market shortage.

"Operators that have installed solar panels on their buildings and homes will continue to benefit from registration until a new government is formed and energy regulations are changed," OERC secretary-general Kawin Thangsupanich said.

"The complication in the city-planning regulations and the problems in getting authorisation from the Department of Industrial Works is the government's problem, not the operator's fault," Kawin added.

He explained that the problems with documentation and lack of parts for solar panels has persisted for a while now, but the recent House dissolution was the reason why the OERC had decided to postpone the project's launch.

The solar rooftop project is a government project that aims to promote the use of renewable energy for commercial and personal use. The government's target is to purchase some 2,000-megawatt of electricity from operators under the project. At present, there are some 7,521 operators in the household category and 1,481 in the business and factory category.

Those who passed the qualification-screening process have started to apply for permits from the OERC, and as of now, about 7,058.52 kilowatt has been registered with the OERC. Business and factory operators have already shown interest in selling more solar energy to the government and are six to seven times more than what the government is expecting.


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