Pune-Maximum Solar City Initiative

Last few years have seen significant developments in rooftop solar PV technology as well as large reduction in cost of electricity generated from such solar systems. As a result, Rooftop Solar PV has already become a cost effective electricity generation option for commercial, industrial as well as residential consumers. In urban areas using premium rooftop spaces for a profitable purpose is the best means of increasing its value to the owner. The roof of any establishment has the maximum exposure to sun and hence is the best location for solar photovoltaic installations. A Rooftop Solar PV system will help the owner produce a portion of their total electricity requirement and reduce the current electricity bill.

For example, a commercial consumer installing a 10 kW system, requiring 1000 sq ft of rooftop space can generate around 1,300 units (kWh) per month. This will save this consumer Rs 6,500/month after accounting for installation costs. Moreover innovative business models offers consumers an option of installing solar systems without any upfront investments. Thus this becomes a win-win option for citizens to “Go Green and Save Money”.

Pune has been selected under the GoI’s Smart City Initiative and one of the important areas of focus under this initiative is to substantially increase the use of solar power, especially rooftop solar PV (RTPV) within the city. Pune can significantly contribute towards the overall national goal of 40 GW of rooftop solar power by 2022.

To enable citizens install rooftop solar systems, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has recently notified net metering regulations in September 2015. Net Metering is a regulation that credits the RTPV owners for the electricity they add to the grid. This provides an incentive for the RTPV owners in commercial, industrial and residential segment to maximize the rooftop potential as many of them may generate more electrical energy than they use during daylight hours. To further accelerate the pace of solar deployment in the City, newly formed PSCDCL (Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd.) has launched the ‘Pune-Maximum Solar City initiative'. This website is one of the steps taken by PSCDCL to create wider awareness of rooftop solar in Pune.

As part of this initiative, PSCDCL will promote use of solar rooftop capacity in the city through various measures such as deployment of solar rooftop on PMC buildings, creating awareness amongst citizens about solar rooftop and undertaking facilitation role to promote solar rooftop net metering arrangements in the city. For this initiative PSCDCL is partnering with government agencies such as MSEDCL and MEDA as well as national think tanks such as Pune International Centre (PIC) and Prayas, (Energy Group) (PEG)

Online Application for Rooftop Solar      PDF: PMC Solar Awareness Workshop 10th May 16

Questions:

1. How does Solar PV technology work?

A Solar Photovoltaic system uses solar panels to convert solar radiation into electrical energy i.e. electricity. In a typical system multiple such panels are connected together using a frame and a typical system size is measured in kilowatt peak (kWp). This setup is connected to an inverter which converts the direct current (DC) generated by the panels to alternating current (AC) to be made grid compatible and allow regular appliances to use the power.

Solar PV is very different from solar water heaters; solar water heaters only heat water and cannot generate electricity.

2. What are the types of Solar PV rooftop systems ?

There are three types of Solar PV systems:

    1. Grid tied
  • A grid tied system (without battery) is designed to supply solar power generated to the establishment and any excess power is sent into the grid. In such a configuration, a solar system gets automatically shut down during a power outage and hence does not allow a customer to use the solar system. This reduces the risk of electrician working on the grid. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission allows such grid-tied systems under its net metering regulations.
    2. Grid Interactive
  • A grid interactive system is connected to the grid and also used to charge batteries, which can provide power to an establishment when there is a power outage. All battery based systems have high operation and maintenance cost as batteries need to be replaced once in every 5-6 years.
    3. Off –Grid
  • An off-grid system supports only charging of batteries and this system is not connected to a grid.

3. Who can help me install a Solar rooftop PV system?

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has accredited a list of developers, new entrepreneurs and renewable energy service companies who have considerable expertise and experience in installing such systems. The contact list for developers in Pune can be found here Channel Partner  New Enterpreneur

4. What is the approximate cost of a Solar Rooftop System ?

A typical solar system costs Rs. 80,000 per kWp as per MNRE bench mark costs. However the cost of the system can vary quite a bit depending on the size of the system with smaller systems (1-5 kW) costing relatively higher per kW as compared to large systems (50-100 kW). For getting a rough idea of monetary savings in comparison to existing DISCOM tariffs, please use the following calculator from MNRE. (MNRE calculator (223.31.33.76/spin-grid/public/Grid/financial_tool/1)

5. How much roof area is required to install a solar rooftop PV system and how much electricity is generated from such systems?

Typically, solar systems requires 100 Sq. ft. of shadow free rooftop space per kW. Solar rooftop systems can roughly generate 1400 – 1500 units (kWh) of electricity per kW in a year. The following calculator can help you determine the approximate system size for your roof. (MNRE calculator (223.31.33.76/spin-grid/public/Grid/financial_tool/1)

6. Where can such systems be installed?

Such systems can be installed at the roofs of residential and commercial complexes, housing societies, community centers, government organizations, private institutions etc. For more details check (MNRE FAQ (http://mnre.gov.in/file-manager/UserFiles/FAQs_Grid-Connected-Solar-Rooftop-Systems.pdf)

7. What is net metering?

Net metering allows residential, industrial and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. Most states in India have passed net metering regulations. Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home's rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output. Customers are only billed for their "net" energy use. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads. Source: adopted from SEIA

8. What is the size of a solar system rooftop system that can be connected to the grid under the net metering regulations in Maharashtra?

The shadow free available roof area will firstly determine the technically possible largest size of the system. However the MERC regulations limit the size of the system to the maximum of the sacntioned or connected load of the consumer. For example, if I have a 1000 sq ft shadow free roof which in theory allows me to install a 10 kW system but my sanctioned load is only 6 kW, then the maximum size of the solar system allowed is 6 kW. Additionally depending on the voltage level of the connection, the maximum limit for Solar Rooftop Connection is as follows.

  • Single phase (230 V): < 8 kW
  • Three phase (415 V): < 150 kW
  • 11kV : > 150 kW

For more details please check (http://www.mahadiscom.in/download.php?docname=solarRoofTop/General%20Guidelines.pdf)

9. Can I lease my roof to a developer to install such a system?

Yes, the MERC regulations allow a consumer to lease their roof to a third party and indirectly generate energy without the consumer bearing the investment, operating and maintenance costs.

For more details please check (http://www.mahadiscom.in/download.php?docname=solarRoofTop/General%20Guidelines.pdf)

10. Is there a government subsidy available for installing a solar rooftop system?

Yes, the MNRE provides a subsidy for installing solar rooftop systems on residential, institutional (hospitals, educational institutions etc.) and social sectors. Commercial and industrial consumers cannot avail subsidy but can avail benefit of accelerated depreciation. The details of the same can be found in this document. (http://mnre.gov.in/file-manager/UserFiles/gcrt-cfa-notification-04-03-2016.pdf)

11. What is the procedure for installing grid connected solar rooftop PV systems under the net metering route in Maharashtra?

  1. A consumer intending to set up a Roof-top Solar Net Metering System or who has already installed such a System may download the Application Form from the MSEDCL’s website www.mahadiscom.in and submit it, duly filled, along with technical details of the System to the concerned office of MSEDCL along with registration fee, or apply and pay the fee online.
  2. Duly filled Application Form, in prescribed format, shall be submitted to the office ofthe respective nodal officer/ authorities authorized for billing along with requisiteProcessing Fees (non-refundable) and certified true copies of the documents as maybe required /informed from time to time
  3. MSEDCL’s concerned office shall register the Application in separate register on first come first basis and acknowledge its receipt within three working days; or intimate the Applicant within that period of any deficiency or incompleteness.
  4. MSEDCL concerned office shall conduct a technical feasibility study within 15 working days from the registration of the Application considering the following aspects:—
    1. AC Voltage level at which connectivity is sought;
    2. Sanctioned Load / Contract Demand of the Applicant;
    3. Rated Output AC Voltage of the proposed Roof-top Solar PV System;
    4. Available cumulative capacity of relevant Distribution Transformer;
  5. Before rejecting any application for setting up a Roof-top Solar PV System at a particular Distribution Transformer, MSEDCL concerned officer shall serve the Applicant with a notice to rectify, within 15 days or such longer period as may benecessary, the deficiencies.
  6. If found technically feasible, MSEDCL shall, within 7 working days of the completion of the feasibility study, convey its approval for installing the Roof-top Solar PV System. The approval shall indicate the maximum permissible capacity of the System, and shall be valid for a period of 6 months from the date of approval, or such extended period as may be agreed to by the MSEDCL.
  7. The Applicant shall, within the period of validity of such approval, submit the work completion report, along with relevant details (such as technical specifications, test reports received from manufacturer / system provider, etc.), with a request to the MSEDCL for the testing and commissioning of the Roof-top Solar PV System.
  8. MSEDCL shall complete the testing and commissioning of the System within 10 working days from receipt of such request, and shall install the Net Metering equipment and synchronise the Roof-top Solar PV System within 10 working days thereafter.
  9. The Eligible Consumer and MSEDCL shall enter into a Net Metering Connection Agreement in the prescribed format after the Roof-Top Solar PV System is installed but before it is synchronized with the distribution Network.

For more details please check (http://www.mahadiscom.in/solarRoofTop/Anexure-1%20Procedure%20for%20net%20metering.pdf)

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Disclaimer –The information displayed on this webpage is only for creating awareness about rooftop solar systems, net metering and the existing policies, regulations etc. w.r.t rooftop solar in Maharashtra. PSCDCL, PMC, MEDA, MSEDCL, Prayas, Energy Group or PIC do not endorse any particular solar product or developer, neither any information or reference on this page should be construed as professional advice. Before taking any commercial decision independent professional advice should be sought.