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.