Here are Few Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Solar Rooftop System?
In a solar rooftop system, the solar panels are installed in the roof of any residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. This can be of two types (i) Solar Rooftop System with storage facility using battery, and (ii) Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System.
2. What is a Solar Rooftop System with Storage facility?
Such rooftop system has battery as storage facility. The solar electricity is stored in the battery and can be utilized during night also when the sun is not available.
3. What is a Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System?
In grid connected rooftop or small SPV system, the DC power generated from SPV panel is converted to AC power using power conditioning unit and is fed to the grid either of 33 kV/11 kV three phase lines or of 440/220 Volt three/single phase line depending on the capacity of the system installed at institution/commercial establishment or residential complex and the regulatory framework specified for respective States.
These systems generate power during the day time which is utilized fully by powering captive loads and feed excess power to the grid as long as grid is available. In case, where solar power is not sufficient due to cloud cover etc., the captive loads are served by drawing power from the grid.
4. Where such plants can be installed?
Such rooftop systems can be installed at the roofs of residential and commercial complex, housing societies, community centers, government organizations, private institutions etc.
5. What is the size of grid connected rooftop solar system?
The rooftop solar systems from 1 kWp upto 500 kWp or in combination can be set up on the roofs.
6. How much roof area is required to set up the grid connected rooftop solar system?
7. What are the advantages of Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar System?
- Secured Returns for 25 Long Years
- Low Maintenance as On Grid System is Battery Free
- Earn Extra Money by Feeding Excess Power to grid
- Attractive provision of Subsides from Central and State Government.
- A system Reliable Specially for Indian Climate
- No Requirement of Any Additional Land
8. What is the potential available in India?
According to a study conducted by TERI, a potential of 124 GWp SPV Rooftop plants has been estimated in the country. This can be achieved through active supports from the States.
9. What are the grid connectivity levels for such systems?
The Projects under these guidelines fall within two broad categories i.e.(a) the projects connected to HT voltage at distribution network (i.e. below 33 kV) (b) the projects connected to LT voltage i.e. 400/415/440 volts (3-phase) as the case may be or 230 volts (1-phase). Accordingly, the projects may be under the following two categories.
Category 1: Projects connected at HT level (below33kV) of distribution network The Projects with proposed installed capacity of minimum 50 kW and upto 500 kW and connected at below 33kV shall fall with in this category. The projects will have to follow appropriate technical connectivity standards in this regard.
Category 2: Projects connected at LT level (400 Volts-3 phase or 230 Volts-1 phase) The Projects with proposed installed capacity of less than100kW and connected of the grid at LT level (400/ 415/ 440 volts for 3-phase or 230V for1-phase) shall fall within this category.
10. What is the gross potential of solar power in the country?
India is endowed with vast solar energy potential. About 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy is incident over India’s land area with most parts receiving 3-5 kWh per sq. m per day. Based upon the availability of land and solar radiation, the potential of solar power in the country has been assessed to be 750 GWp.
Financing PV System
1. What is the average cost of grid connected rooftop solar systems?
2. What is the Financial Assistance provided by the Ministry?
Subsidy Percentage to be Changed from 15 to 30 %.
3. What are the other fiscal incentives are available for Solar Rooftop Systems?
There are provisions of concessional import duty/excise duty exemption, accelerated depreciation and tax holiday for setting up of grid connected rooftop power plants.
4. What efforts Government is making to providing loans for solar rooftop systems?
Department of Financial services has instructed to all Public Sector Banks to encourage home loan/ home improvement loan seekers to install rooftop solar PV plants and include cost of system in their home loan proposals. So far, nine PSBs namely Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, State Bank of India, Dena Bank , Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank have given instructions to extend loan for Grid Interactive Rooftop Solar PV Plants as home loan/ home improvement loan.
PV System Procedure
1. Net metering
The grid connected rooftop system can work on net metering basis wherein the beneficiary pays to the utility on net meter reading basis only. Alternatively two meters can also be installed to major the export and import of power separately. The mechanism based on gross metering at mutually agreed tariff can also be adopted.
In feed-in-tariff the Government offers a tariff for purchase of the solar power generated from such plants.
3. Among net metering and feed-in-tariff what is preferred?
Net metering mechanism is more popular among States.
4. Is there any chance for shocks to the person who is repairing?
In case the grid fails, the solar power has to be fully utilized or stopped immediately feeding to the grid so as to safe-guard any grid person/technician from getting shock (electrocuted) while working on the grid for maintenance etc. This feature is termed as ‘Islanding Protection’.
5. I want to install solar panels on the roof of my house. How should I go about it?
Individual household consumers can get On-grid rooftop systems installed on their roofs through MNRE channel partners. “Electro Line” being an MNRE Channel Partner helps you in availing subsidy provided by government.
6. What will be the installation and commissioning process of my PV system?
- Once Electro Line surveys your existing rooftop, studies your electricity bill, and understands your constraints (if any), we will then propose the capacity of your net-metered PV system along with its cost.
- You will have to then sign the installation and service contract with Electro Line, after which Electro Line will help you fill up GEDA’s application form (required for interconnection, subsidy, etc.), will submit it and start following it up on your behalf.
- After scrutiny, once approved, GEDA will inform us of the approval and also forward the same to your Distribution Company and the Chief Electrical Inspector.
- Electro Line will then submit your PV system drawings and specifications to the Chief Electrical Inspector and get them approved.
- Electro Line will submit your application to your Distribution Company for a net-metered connection.
- After the feasibility check by your Distribution Company, a ‘connectivity agreement’ will be signed between you and your Distribution Company. This will be followed by your Distribution Company issuing a letter to complete the execution of the rooftop PV system.
- Electro Line will then commence and complete the installation of your rooftop PV system.
- Once the rooftop PV system is installed, we will intimate GEDA, the Distribution Company and the Chief Electrical Inspector (based on the requirement at that point) for inspection and commissioning of the system.
- Once the rooftop PV system is commissioned, it can commence operation and the Distribution Company will automatically start accounting for your solar energy generation and incorporate it in your billing.
State and Central Policies
1. What are requirements from State to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
(i) States should have conducive solar policy to allow the grid connectivity.
(ii) State Regulators have issued tariff order for appropriate tariff, net-metering/feed-in tariff and the grid connectivity, and
(iii)The Distribution Companies agree to allow grid connectivity and purchase the electricity on feed-in-tariff or through net metering arrangement.
2. How many States have policies to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
So far, 13 States/UTs namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have notified policies that include promotion of grid connected rooftop solar systems with net metering. Regulation from the State Electricity Regulatory Commission is also required to allow net metering/ feed-in-tariff.
3. How many States Regulators have notified orders to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
20 State/UT Regulators from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry and Goa have so far issued these regulations for netmetering/gross metering.
4. What is the present status about sanctions under the grid connected rooftop solar programme?
The Ministry has so far sanctioned 361 MWp aggregate capacity of grid connected rooftop solar systems in the country of which 42 MWp have been commissioned.
5. What are the business models that can facilitate the promotion of grid connected rooftop solar systems?
There can be many possible business models, some of which can be considered are as follows:
(a) Solar installations owned by consumer
i) Solar Rooftop facility owned, operated and maintained by the consumer(s).
ii) Solar Rooftop facility owned by consumer but operated and maintained by the 3rd party.
(b) Solar installations owned, operated and maintained by 3rd Party If the 3rd party
implements the solar facility and provides services to the consumers, combinations could be:
i) Arrangement as a captive generating plant for the roof owners :- The 3rd party implements the facility at the roof or within the premise of the consumers; the consumer may or may not invest as equity in the facility as mutually agreed between them. The power is then sold to the roof owner.
ii) Solar Lease Model, Sale to Grid :- The 3rd party implementing the solar facility shall enter into a lease agreement with the consumer for medium to long term basis on rent. The facility is entirely owned by the 3rd party and consumer is not required to make any investment in facility. The power generated is fed into the grid and the roof top owner gets a rent.
(c) Solar Installations Owned by the Utility
i) Solar installations owned operated and maintained by the DISCOM :- The DISCOM may own, operate and maintain the solar facility and also may opt to sub contract the operation and maintenance activity. The DISCOM may recover the cost in the form of suitable tariff. The electricity generation may also be utilized by DISCOM for fulfilling the solar renewable purchase obligation.
ii) Distribution licensee provides appropriate viability gap funds The DISCOM :- may appoint a 3rd party to implement the solar facilities on its behalf and provide appropriate funds or viability gap funds for implementing such facility.
6. Which organizations are setting up the projects for end users?
The programme is being implemented through multiple agencies for rapid up-scaling in an inclusive mode. These agencies are:
- (i) State Nodal Agencies(SNAs)
- (ii) Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)
- (iii) Channel Partners:
- Renewable Energy Service Providing Companies (RESCOs)
- System Integrators
- Manufactures of any component of the Solar Plants
- Project developers
- Vendors/ suppliers of solar equipment
- Reputed and relevant NGOs of National level