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Net-metering Arrives in Costa Rica!

Today ICE, with support from MINAET, launched a significant new program to stimulate small-scale renewable energy generation. It is named the Net-metering Pilot Project.

This Project is extremely important because for the first time in Costa Rica’s history the utilities are inviting customers who invest in small-scale, distributed generation to connect their generation directly to the ICE distribution network. This is a tremendous step forward for Costa Rican consumers hoping to reduce their carbon footprint as well as take more control of their own energy generation and security. (To appreciate the magnitude of this change, consider that up till now ICE and distributors have penalized consumers who install solar panels and wind turbines and connect them to the grid).

conventional-solar-panels-on-roof pedestal-mounted-solar-panels

Conventional solar panels on roof

"Pedestal" mounted solar panels

All customers can participate, whether they are residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural sector consumers. Participants must add clean, renewable generation at their property, ie solar, wind, biomass, hydro, etc. The entire program is limited in size to 5 MW (ie the equivalent of 5 million Watts of capacity), and a significant portion of this capacity is reserved exclusively for residential consumer. This will prevent the potential that a handful of large industrials could oversubscribe the program.

ICE has indicated that once the program does approach its 5 MW capacity, that they expect to raise the capacity ceiling rather than deny further participants entry. However, this is not certain, and meanwhile it is a ‘first come – first served’ program.

ground-mounted-solar-array solar-covered-parking-area-thin-film-panels

Ground mounted solar array

Solar covered parking area (thin film panels)

The main terms of the Net-metering Pilot Project are as follows:

  • Open to all consumers on the ICE network (other distributors are expected to follow suit though some still resist this ‘democratization’ of electricity generation)
  • First come, first served
  • Individual consumers can install systems up to the lesser of the size of their annual electricity consumption, or, up to their grid inter-connection’s capacity
  • Two year Program (before its expiration we expect ICE and the government to announce even better programs to reward consumers to invest in renewable energy)
  • Fifteen year (15) contracts – assuring participants time to recoup their investments
  • All "grid-connected" technologies must meet ICE and ARESEP guidelines. In most cases this means they must be UL and or IEEE approved
  • Two separate application and approval processes are established. One is a ‘stream-lined’ process for quickly processing residential and small business applications for systems at 10 kW or less in size. Another more complex application, inspection and approval process for larger systems, ie commercial, industrial, and agricultural scale projects
  • Maybe most importantly, consumers who ‘auto-generate’ while connected to the grid can both import (purchase) power as well as export (store) power on the utility’s network for later use. This is the fundamental concept of net-metering

To learn more about how you can benefit from this tremendous new Net-metering Pilot Program from ICE, or to obtain a site assessment and price quotation for a renewable energy system for your home, hotel, supermarket or factory, please see the documents attached below in *.pdf form, or contact ASI Power at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

flexlight-thin-film-solar-panel flexlight-thin-film-solar-panel-installation

Flexlight thin-film solar panel on standing seam metal roof. Installs with no hardware or holes!

Attachments in *.pdf format:

  1. FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions pdf_button
  2. ICE Document* – Plan Description (Descripción Plan) pdf_button
  3. ICE Document* – Technical Specification (Especificaciones Tecnicas) pdf_button
  4. ICE Document* – Application for Systems under 10kW (Solicitud de Participación Menor a 10 kW) pdf_button
  5. ICE Document* – Application for Larger Systems (Solicitud general para una instalación de Generación Distribuida) pdf_button
  6. ICE Document* – Installation Procedure (Procedimiento de instalación) pdf_button
  7. ICE Document* – Inter-connection Agreement (Acuerdo Interconexion) pdf_button

*These ICE documents are subject to change. To ensure you have the most recent documents related to the Pilot Program please downloaded them from ICE’s company web site .

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