In a recent order, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has announced the generic tariff for net-meter consumers in Maharashtra for the year 2023-24. The commission has set the tariff at Rs 3.05 per unit, allowing solar rooftop prosumers using net meters to sell their surplus solar energy to local discoms at this rate.
The newly established tariff closely aligns with the earlier rate of Rs 3.05-3.10 per unit determined under the PM-KUSUM scheme. While the generic tariff for rooftop solar energy is set by the commission, long-term tariffs for other solar and wind power projects are determined through a competitive bidding process.
The MERC had previously published a draft notification on the generic tariff for solar rooftop power, inviting stakeholders’ views. However, the state discom, MSEDCL, objected to the proposed tariff, suggesting that higher tariffs should not be encouraged for surplus power production, as net-meter rooftop consumers primarily utilize solar energy for their own needs.
MSEDCL urged the commission to establish the generic tariff based on the latest rates discovered through competitive bids for other solar projects in the state. Despite the objection, the MERC decided to uphold the previously determined rate of Rs 3.05 per unit.
The commission justified its decision by stating that utility-scale projects typically have lower installation and maintenance costs due to economies of scale. Furthermore, surplus solar power from rooftop consumers is available at the consumer end, whereas grid-scale projects transmit power to the Maharashtra State Transmission Utility (STU), resulting in additional transmission charges and losses. Taking these factors into account, the MERC deemed it appropriate to consider the tariff discovered in the PM-KUSUM scheme as the generic tariff for procuring surplus energy from rooftop PV projects.
The MERC has now officially notified the rate of Rs 3.05 per kWh as the generic tariff for the procurement of surplus power from rooftop PV projects for the financial year 2023-24. Distribution licensees are obligated to procure such surplus power by the end of the financial year, which will contribute to fulfilling their Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).