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Net-metering in Maharashtra (the next destination for solar)

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All the projects that were stalled in Maharashtra because of net-metering are expected to take off really quickly now with the release of the Guidelines for net-metering. The Regulations ‘Net-metering for Roof-Top Solar Photovoltaic Systems were released on 20th September 2015.

Following are a few highlights:

 

General conditions

  • The maximum that can be installed by one rooftop owner is 1 MW
  • Net-metering arrangement will be permitted for a rooftop owner on a first-come-first serve basis
  • Priority for net-metering connection will be given to those who already have rooftop solar power systems on their rooftops
  • Unlike most other states, Maharashtra allows a larger capacity of its transformer (as high as 40%) to be connected to rooftop solar.
  • On 20th December (3 months from notification of current guidelines), you can expect the DISCOMs to notify users the capacity available at every distribution transformer. This data will be updated quarterly

 

Eligible Consumer & Individual Project capacity

  • Consumers can install rooftop solar systems of the rated capacity not exceeding their Contract Demand/ Sanctioned Load. Variation in rated capacity of the system within a range of 5% shall be allowed

 

Capacity limits are as specified below for connectivity:

AC Voltage at which Rooftop Solar PV System is connected to the Grid Maximum limit
230/240 V (Single Phase) <8kW/40 A
400/415 V (Three Phase)

<150 kW/ 187 kVA (Municipal Corporation areas)

<80 kW/100 kVA (other areas)

11kV and above

>150 kW/187 kVA ; <1000 kVA (in Mumbai Metropolitan Region)

>80 kW/100 kVA; <1000 kVA (in other areas)

  • Customers can enhance their existing capacities provided the total capacity does not go beyond the sanctioned load of the customer or beyond 1 MW
  • In case the distribution licensee disconnects the system for the grid (when there maybe threat of accident or damage from such a system), the consumer can continue use the solar power for his own consumption

 

Application process is pretty straight forward

  • The application would be made available online by the DISCOMs by 20th November, 2015 along with application procedure and relevant forms. The customers need to download the form, fill it and pay the application fee (>5 kW, INR 500, >5 kW INR 1000)
  • Following are the formats that will be followed for various processes:
    • Application process: Annexure 1
    • Model form & Consumer checklist: Annexure 2 (Extremely easy to fill)

 

Net-metering connection Agreement

  • After approval of connectivity of the Rooftop solar power system- the DISCOM and the consumer will enter into a ‘Net-metering Connection’ agreement.
  • Refer to this document to get an understanding of what the Net-metering agreement entails: Annexure 3
  • The agreement has a validity of 20 years. In case either party wants to terminate the agreement, they can do so by giving 30 days’ notice to the other

 

Energy Accounting and Settlement

  • The bill will clearly show the following:
    • Units of electricity exported to the grid
    • Units of electricity imported from the grid
    • Units of electricity billed for payment by the consumer
    • Unit of electricity carried over to the next billing period
  • Excess electricity exported to the grid, exceeding that imported from the grid will be carried forward to the next billing period credited as units
  • Otherwise, if the net import exceeds the net export, then the DISCOM will raise an invoice for those units
  • If at the end of the financial year, there is a situation of net export of units, then those unadjusted units will be bought by the DISCOM at APPC (average power purchase cost). This would be done within the first month of the following year
  • Energy exported in a particular time block would be offset for the units imported in the same time block (peak, off-peak)

The state does not offer any subsidy for installing solar. However, it is available from the center. But, with the kind of savings you can expect from a installing a solar power system, subsidy amount seems small. To give you an estimate, there could be almost an INR 6/unit difference in your current tariff and that you pay for tariff (lower is the solar one, of course). Been thinking of going solar? Get an estimate using our Solar Calculator send us a request if you’re interested.

Update Feb 2017:

We are happy to share that Sunkalp Energy’s partners are now empanelled with MEDA (Maharashtra Energy Development Authority)- you can now avail up to 30% subsidy on rooftop solar projects executed at schools, residences, institutions, universities and hospitals by Sunkalp Energy’s partners. Reach out to us at info[at]sunkalp[dot]com for subsidized roof-top solar projects in Maharashtra.

Tanya Batra

Tanya keeps a close track of policy updates in the field of Rooftop Solar in India and likes to write blogs on its application for the end customer

96 thoughts on “Net-metering in Maharashtra (the next destination for solar)

  1. Thanks for posting on Net-Metering for PV Solar Installations.

    As far eligibility is concerned; if the THIRD PARTY commissions the Rooftop PV Solar; how can it be limited to the demand / sanctioned load if there is space available for more generation of Electric Power. Could you please throw some light on this?

    Regards,

    SANJAY KHAIRNAR

    1. Thanks for your comment Sanjay. In my opinion, in such a scenario the rooftop solar PV capacity installed is limited to the demand/sanctioned load of the consumer of electricity. And in case you are talking about ‘gross metering’, there is no provision for it in Maharashtra. I hope I have satisfactorily answered your query.

    1. Dear Mr. Jeet,
      These regulations don’t apply for projects above 1 MW. Also usually, rooftop projects don’t go beyond 1MW. Beyond it, they are usually Ground-Mounted.

  2. When exactly is net metering for rooftop solar systems going to start in maharashtra?
    I have already installed 10 KW system on my rooftop and eagerly waiting for the grid connectivity.
    where to apply? what’s the designation of the officer to whom should I apply?

    1. Ajay, the application will be made available on the DISCOMs website within 2 months from the release of the regulations- 20th November, 2015. You can apply once they are made available. Other details will be provided to you once the form is available on the website

    2. Dear Ajay,

      Did you finally find out more on the Net Meter Installation ? Were you successful in installing it ?

      I am installing a 2 KW solar system on my rooftop and want to know if someone has already started with net metering.

      Thanks,
      Ashwin.

  3. Net metering policy for roof top solar energy was awaited since last many months,however
    it is still not easy to understand as how to get the benefit of such good policy by a retail
    house-hold consumer i.e.1 kw to 5 kw .in many areas MSEDCL is distributing and many of the TAHASIL PLACE no knowledge is seen by the concerned electricity authorities,BANKS ,and branch manager has nothing in there rural/urban/semi urban branches ,related details of subsidy through MNRE etc.
    is beyond the capacity to under stand and practically the matter is only show of government scheme
    as many state governments projects are highlighted in the news papers .

  4. I have land that is not used for farming and is agricultural land in Pune. Can I use it for the installation of Solar Photovoltaic systems? What are the requirements and eligibility?

    1. Dear Priyanka,

      Absolutely. It can be used for Solar PV installation. As long as you have ownership of the land, you can install it.

      1. Hi Tanya,

        Is the ownership prerequisite criteria. Can a third-party install and operate the PV on behalf of the owner.

        Regards,

        1. Dear Murali,

          Thanks for writing in. No, ownership is not a pre-requisite for net-metering. It may be third party owned.

          Regards,
          Tanya

  5. Why the Govt. wants to limit the capability of Indians to generate Renewable Energy, when there is huge shortage.
    More than 80% of rural places get power only for 6 hours day, whole year. Why to limit generation ?
    If paying back to generator is problem, let them pump in the extra power, free of cost, one way this is donation to the Nation, for good purpose. It will give light to millions of villagers.

    1. Dear Sanjay,
      Thanks for your comment. It would have been good if it were as simple as that. However, setting a limit links to grid stability. Hence, the limit.

  6. In net-metering arrangement,what would happen when production exceeds consumption during power-cuts? Does that hamper life & quality of solar setup?

    1. Dear Arun,

      If production exceeds consumption, then it is automatically fed back to the grid. No, it does no hamper life of the solar setup. You just need to be sure you’re using an Inverter that has the requisite net-metering approvals and certificates and have the capability of net-metering.

  7. Hello Tanya,

    I am getting ready to install a 2KW rooftop solar system in Sangli, Maharashta.

    Has the net metering started on ground in Maharashtra ? There is still very little information on it ?

    Also, regarding MNRE subsidy: I am an electrical engineer. If I install the rooftop solar system myself, can I claim the subsidy ?

    Thanks,
    Ashwin.

    1. Dear Ashwin,

      Net-metering on paper has started in Maharashtra. But, I am not sure if applications has been received by DISCOMs for net-metering. However, they have required guidelines for it.

  8. Hello
    We are a a society in Mumbai with 40 story tower in Mumbai.
    We intend to build 90/100 KW solar plan for the society.
    we want to call
    1) Agencies interested
    2) Need details know how on
    a) Technical
    b) Commercial (Including Loan, Subsidy…)
    c) Regulatory
    d) Structural Impact

    We are already started interacting, please let me know if you have any interest

  9. Net-metering policy declared in September. Hundreds of solar-executives got themselves trained for the installations. But till today, nothing is moving. None of the offices of MSEB in Pune are accepting applications. It is very disappointing. We understand that MSEB is not ready with BIDIRECTIONAL METERS. What’s the way further? Who is to be contacted? Why things move so slowly when it is absolutely necessary to accelerate exponentially with PM-Modi’s vision.

    1. Dear Ramachandra,

      Thanks for contacting. Ideally, for applying for net-metering application, step 1 would be contact the DISCOM in that area. By November last year, they should have been given instructions by the commission about the process.

  10. I want to know how the electricity producer by solar system get profit by selling to private company in just 6₹ per kWh. Because the cost of solar set ,installation are etc are very high.
    Suppose I setup 500 kwp capacity solar system and my Client use full light generated by system and I charged him 6₹ per kwh then how it is profitable to me. Please explain in detail.

  11. Dear Tanya madam,
    I have been working in solar field since 4-5 years and now at that time I wanted to start my own business in to install solar rooftops in all over Maharashtra. It is feasible at current scenario? Please guide me for said work.

  12. I already gave application for net metering to nagpur sub division on january 2016 yet they not give me any application number. Now i installed 5 kw solar grid tie system on roof but its not succes without netmeter. Is it possible that i purchase a net meter and give it to mseb for testing, will they install at my home after testing ?

    1. Dear Pankaj,

      We don’t have experience of net-metering applications in Maharashtra. However, if you buy the meter according to the specifications given in the policy and give it to MSEB for testing, in my opinion, it should work.

      1. Dear Tanya,

        In Maharashtra, in net metering at the end of year, how much per unit is paid to end customer? Like, in Karnataka, BESCOM pays Rs.9.56 per unit (without subsidy) and Rs.7.20 per unit (with Subsidy)

        Regards,
        Deepak

        1. Dear Deepak,

          Maharashtra government restricts consumers to sell back to the grid upto the connected load of the customer. So ‘adjustment’ in bill that you see for exported units is at the same rate at which you buy electricity from the grid. Hope I have satisfactorily answered your question.

          Regards,
          Tanya

          1. Hi Tanya,
            I happened to go thru the MERC net metering regulations, which say the rate at which govt would pay us back is at ‘annually published’ rates. But there is no clarity. Have not been able to figure out what are these rates and where are these published.

            Regards,
            Devesh

          2. Dear Devesh,

            Thanks for writing in. A very good question. How net-metering works is that t suppose you consume 100 units from the grid and export back say 50 units, the, the exported units will be ‘subtracted’ from your bill altogether. But, suppose the export surpasses the import, which is you feed back 110 and consume only 100 units, THEN, the refund will be made at APPC rate which will be available in tariff orders of each state. Hope this was helpful. For further clarifications, you may write to me on tanya@sunkalp.com.

            Regards,
            Tanya Batra

    2. Pankaj can you give me your contact details for assistance from your side.we are planning to install 50 kw solar grid tie system on ground at Nagpur. Please call us on 9049379855

  13. Dear Tanya,

    We want to install Solar electricity generating system with netmetering, We are located at Thane. Can you please guide us how we can go about it other than sending application to DISCOM ?

    Regards,
    Sachin

    1. Dear Sachin,
      We are currently not working with net metering in Maharashtra. We will let you know in case something comes up.
      Best,
      Team Sunkalp

  14. What is the purchase cost that mseb given to us per unit in case of excess & 1 kw roof top geneerate how much units per day

    1. Dear Ajit,

      Purchase, or ‘adjustment’ is at the same price at which electricity is purchased. 1 kW typically generates and average of 4 units a day.

      Regards,
      Tanya

      1. mam I want implement 15KW on grid system on my rooftop since permitted load is 20kw. if I am generating extra unit other than consumption then what is purchase cost that mseb given to us per unit??
        you can mail me on rohitbhoi0707@gmail.com

        1. Dear Rohit,

          The ‘adjustment’ is 1:1 wherein if you feed back lesser than your consumption then adjustment is at the same rate. However, if you feed back in excess of consumption then the buying price is APPC.

          Regards,
          Tanya

  15. Hello Tanya,

    Can you please tell me if any entity can be an ‘Eligible Consumer’ as long as the installation is less than 1 MW? Can small industrial units, educational institutions etc qualify for Net Metering?

    Is the installation strictly to be on roof-tops only? Can a ground mounted installation of < 1 MW qualify for Net Metering?

    Thanks

    1. Dear Murali,

      Sorry for the delay in responding. Yes, all the above named units do qualify for Net-Metering. This regulations specifically is only for Rooftop. There are probably other regulations for Ground Mounted systems since typically, ground mounted is setup for sale of power.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  16. Dear Tanya,

    I was in search for the policy for installing the solar power plant , having capacity more than 1 Mega watt.
    Please guide me , where can I find these regulations and specifically for Maharashtra state.

    Regards,
    Sagar

    1. Dear Sagar,

      It would be great if you can drop Sunkalp an e-mail about this at tanya@sunkalp.com so we can properly guide you. But just to answer your question, beyond 1 MW, there are very few regulations on such solar power plants.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  17. I am interested to install solar panel & net metering in SANGLI Maharashtra. Pls give me contact details

  18. Dear Tanya,
    Thank you very much for the information you have shared here. Appreciate your prompt answers.
    I’m from gujarat looking forward to enter in solar business particularly in PPA (BOOT) model.
    please suggest how we can start it and things to keep in mind.

    Regards,
    Jignesh patel

    1. Dear Jignesh,

      Thanks for writing in. A PPA in Gujarat or whatever other state is tricky business because of the credit rating of clients. Entering PPA or CAPEX would need you to understand the basic EPC process and the costs involved. For PPA, you will just need to identify Green Investors with whom you can work with as channel partners.

      As a starting point, you should see through the closing of a project and the EPC process that follows. Let me know if there are other ways I can help you.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  19. dear mam I have read all the comments and their well reply suraj.choudhari 99@gmail. com is my id I m also working from last 6 months I want to upgrate my knowledge and want to be an Solar instoller I have completed 3 months training programs held by NISE through MEDA in Maharashtra so plz give me a change for my solar based career . suraj choudhari – 9970360670 (Maharashtra )

  20. Dear Tanya,

    I am a flat owner of 1250 sq. ft in a 11 story tower (total 44 flats) in Pune. There are 4 such towers in our apartment. How much roof area will be available to me, if I want to install a Roof Top solar Plant?

    1. Dear Pradeep,

      Thanks for writing in. Unfortunately, in apartments such as yours, the roof rights belong to the the RWA. So, at best there can be an installation in your society to cater to the common loads and not the individual loads.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  21. Greetings! I’ve been reading your web
    site for a long time now and finally got the courage to
    go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the good job!

  22. Dear Tanya,
    In your sample technical offer, it is mentioned as:
    Quote”When power goes off (Grid or DG) Inverter will isolate from the system, stop feeding and Solar Power will go waste.” Unquote
    Can you please elaborate? Does it mean in case of net metering, solar power can not be used for own purpose in can of grid power failure?

    Rgds

    Pradeep

    1. That’s correct. Solar always needs a reference voltage. In case there is no DG, the grid power will need to be there.

      Regards,
      Tanya

      1. What will happen to Solar power getting generated? Can we use it without exporting to Grid?
        Rgds

        Pradeep

  23. Nice Analysis and systematic presentation of Net Metering enabled system on Maharastra..,, any specific work on Madhya Pradesh

  24. Hello ,
    Can commercial electicity users such hospitals cloth shops, cyber cafes, avail Net metering in maharashtra. Or is it restricted to house hold customers only?

      1. Please elaborate the MEDA subsidy for different type of structures, like residential, hospital, trust, hostel, etc

        1. I am not aware of any state subsidy available for Solar. Only, central level- that too for Residential and Institutional.

          Regards,
          Tanya

  25. Hi Tanya,
    Quite interesting blogs.

    Just wanted to know if aggregation of solar energy is allowed in India ?
    Also, if I generate electricity at one location, can I use it at some other ?

    Thanks
    Shailesh

    1. Dear Shailesh,

      By aggregation of solar energy you mean? You may not use it in a different location. Virtual Net-Metering is not allowed in Maharashtra.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  26. Hi Tanya
    Wanted to know if
    I have land in say Alibag and I have a house say in Navi Mumbai. Both have the same discom – MSDECL. Can I avail of net metering in which i generate electricity in Alibag and use it in NAvi Mumbai. This is since I dont have a large rooftop in Navi Mumbai.

    1. Dear Shailesh,

      It’s great to know something like that crossed your mind. This concept of ‘Virtual Net Metering’ unfortunately is not there in Maharashtra. It is currently only in the draft policy of Delhi. So, you will need to install individual plants at these two locations.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  27. Hi Tanya,

    I am working in solar field for some time. My client has an intermittant / sphoradic load. Typically welding and crane operation. This creates spikes. Will netmetered Solar generation affect the surges adversely? Also can you throw some light on harmonics in solar generation

    Thanks
    SUNIL

    1. Dear Sunil,

      It should not. Since, a net metered connection caters to as much of the load as it can and the rest it draws from the grid. Each state’s net metering guidelines has harmonics standards mapped out.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  28. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found
    that it is really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

    1. Dear Mehul,

      Yes ofcourse, you can get net metering for any capacity up to the peak capacity allowed for your connections.

  29. Hi Tanya,
    I choose to start Solar EPC project developer business, with solar rooftop model initially. Can you support me on starting my business. I am from Gujarat.

      1. Thanx Tanya for clarifying.
        Are there any other state which are rolling out or are thinking about Virtual and Group Net metering?

    1. Dear Rajesh,

      Thanks for writing in. I am happy to know your interest in this field. As a starting point, you should look at Sales before getting in the technicalities. You may write to me at tanya@sunkalp.com to know more details about this and how we can be of help.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  30. Hi,

    Referring to all the comments above, I have a question ( which is not answered above).

    How much percent of solar PV system can be installed as against the sanctioned load for MH state ? I mean if the Sanctioned load is 100kVA, what is the maximum solar capacity I can install in MH ? I understand in Karnataka , 90% of solar generation is allowed against Sanctioned load. Whats this number in MH ? Appreciate your feedback

    Cheers

    Vipin

    1. Dear Vipin,

      Thanks for writing in. As stated in the article above ‘Consumers can install rooftop solar systems of the rated capacity not exceeding their Contract Demand/ Sanctioned Load’. Hope this answers your question. Do let me know in case you have any other questions.

      Regards,
      Tanya Batra

    1. Dear Amarnath,

      Thanks for writing in. That would not be possible since the limit is 1 MW. Out of the 2 MW you will only be able to connect 1 MW to net-metering. You may write to us about this project @ tanya@sunkalp.com. We have good experience in bringing net metering approval after installing projects. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

      Regards,
      Tanya Batra

    1. Above 1 MW, typically projects are not bound by regulations. That’s all. And connected capacity is typically cannot exceed 30% of the total capacity of each distribution transformer.

      Regards,
      Tanya

  31. Dear Tanya,

    Thank you for writing a good blog, especially the Q&A – which you have been responding to has been really helpful as well.

    WIll drop you an email with my details, just wanted to make your readers aware if you’re looking for finance/investment to build your solar plant please do not hesitate to email me on schofield48@gmail.com.

    I am a Mechanical Engineer working in the UK for last 11 years leading projects in Renewable & High end Central London construction, we are working with European Banks to release investment in India for valid PPA’s, the process is stringent but achievable.

    We are keen to get started and would need a valid PPA,we work with brokers/bankers from reputed banks in Europe and they are seeking trust-able organisations, developers who could communicate and provide information timely and truthfully. Key here is presentation and credit rating validation of the developer/EPC contractor and project viability.

    Hope to reach out to developers and network.

    Many thanks and keep up the good work

    1. Dear Harshal,

      Thanks for your message. Do drop a line at info[at]sunkalp[dot]com. We can share your proposition with interested customers.

      Good luck.

  32. Dear Tanaya Madam,

    Can we connect single phase 5KW PCU for Net metering Solar system if consumer having 3 phase MSEB Meter. ie can we export surplus units through any phase to grid by 3phase net meter.

    Regards

    Ajay

    1. Dear Ajay,
      While this will technically work it is not recommended for long life of the system and MSEB may also reject the net metering application.

  33. i want to install 70 kw i have sanction load only 40 kw if i install my personal transformer of 100 kw can i get sanction for 70 kw from mseb

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