Factors That Will Further Aid Solar Rooftop Installation In Maharashtra

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Mr. Prateek Kothari, Founder & CEO, Raylios Solar

Maharashtra features in the top 5 states where net metering connections have been installed across the country.

The recent intent of the state government to shift to a net billing / gross metering regime has made investors extremely nervous. Need of the hour is for the government to allay investor concerns that older projects don’t get affected and that this regulation gets rejected out-rightly, otherwise the capacity addition momentum in the rooftop sector will fizzle out rather quickly not to mention this becomes an issue for CCI (Competition Commission of India) to look at.

Another issue a lot of developers face is time bound clearance of important government
approvals like CEIG and Net Metering. Today it takes between 4-6 months for relevant
CEIG / Net Metering approvals to come through.Would be prudent to check if this process
can be further streamlined. The online application process should clearly show where the relevant application is stuck, for what reason, and time associated with it. This would help
in faster approval process for CEIG / Net Metering across entire approval value chain.
Having penalties in place for delayed responses should be looked at since it will keep both
sides honest.

For faster adoption by residential and smaller customers net metering process should be
streamlined to ensure it is simplified to the maximum extent possible. Policy initiatives like
installing Net Metering connections across all new housing projects / new commercials
projects by default should be mandatory.

Thus we strongly believe that a clear policy intent coupled with single window and
time bound clearances for CEIG / Net Metering process (especially across smaller / new
customers) should help drive the next leg of growth in the distributed rooftop space in
Maharashtra.

Mr. Rajesh Mutha, Managing Director, Vitronics Controls

In present time the world has been adopting renewable power at a rapid rate. This inclination towards solar generation has allowed India to overpower the US and become the 2nd largest country in terms of solar power generation in the world.

The development of solar roof top installation offers will constitute a huge opportunity for the development of solar power in Maharashtra.

1. Empowering renewable prosumers:Generation based incentive should be offered rather than subsidy . This data can be easily available in electricity provider bills . 

2. Creating a regulatory framework: Customer should have the choice to select netmeter or Gross meter . Net metering procedure should be single window .Netmeter should be fitted within one month from the date of application . This process should be complete digital and complete open to the customer. 

3. A flexibility Roadmap for Maharashtra Electricity markets:All potential sources of flexibility should be optimized to transition towards a cleaner and more decentralized energy system.An adequate flexibility roadmap would enact the boost solar installation in Maharashtra 

4. Storage Systems: Small solar rooftop also play a vital role in the growth of self sustainable and independent energy.Tax benefits can be given to LiFePO4 batteries in order to develop energy storage creating independent energy sources

Mr. Naresh Bazzar, Co-Founder, GSE Renewables India Pvt. Ltd.

Regulation: As per Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) Regulations, 2019.

Net Billing Arrangement means an agreement under which energy generated by Renewable Energy Generating system is purchased by the distribution Licensee and the distribution Licensee raises the bills on the consumer for his consumption at the approved grid tariff,
after giving credit for total generated electricity against a pre-determined tariff.

The Eligible Consumer of the Residential category may set up the Renewable Energy
generating system under the Net Metering Arrangement but industrial and commercial
premises are not eligible.

Eligible Consumer means a consumer of electricity in the area of supply of the distribution
Licensee who uses or intends to use a Renewable Energy Generating system having
capacity less than 1MW, installed on a roof-top or any other mounting structure in his
premises.

Provided further that in case of Net Billing Arrangement, the capacity limit of 1 MW shall
not apply.

Impact:

If above regulation is applicable in coming future in the form of circulation or Notification
in Official Gazette of MERC, then to extract business out of Maharashtra in Opex/Boot
model will be extremely difficult as Net Billing Arrangement means an agreement under
which energy generated by Renewable Energy Generating system is purchased by the
distribution Licensee and the distribution Licensee raises the bills on the consumer for his
consumption at the approved grid tariff, after giving credit for total generated electricity
against a predetermined tariff.

So in above procedure Power user shall not be getting any benefit by opting Opex model
and profit of Power Producer will get hit massively.

Desired conclusion:

So in my opinion, such regulation has to be withheld if India is targeting at 175 GW by
2022 as Maharashtra plays vital role in contribution to total Solar Plant Installation.

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