Net metering to continue for solar rooftop consumers

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The net billing system proposed by MSEDCL would have made solar rooftop unviable and had been opposed by all consumers including Maharashtra Solar Manufacturers Association (MASMA). 

Some aspects of the new regulations are in favour of MSEDCL. The cost of net meter and renewable energy meter used to be borne by the discom so far. Now, it will be borne by the consumer. However, the reality is that MSEDCL had not supplied even a single net meter to consumers so far. The consumers had purchased the meter on their own and MSEDCL had not refunded the cost to any consumer. Therefore, this change won’t affect the consumers much in real terms.

Secondly, MERC has decided to levy a grid support charge on consumers having load of more than 10 KW. While the formula for calculating this charge is mentioned in the notification, MSEDCL will have to seek its levy in the next tariff petition. The charge will be known after MERC gives a ruling on MSEDCL’s petition.

There are many clauses that are in favour of the consumers. The maximum solar load permissible on a MSEDCL distribution transformer was up to 40% of the transformer capacity. Now it has been increased to 70% with a deviation of 5% on either side. MSEDCL can permit 100% after conducting a load study. 

MSEDCL has been given a timeline for processing the applications of solar consumers. It will have to issue a letter of sanction within 15 days of receiving the application. The testing of net meter and its installation has to be done within next 10 days. Grid synchronization and signing of agreement will have to be accomplished in another ten days. The registration fee has been reduced for smaller consumers. Earlier, it was Rs 500 up to 5 kW and Rs 1,000 thereafter. Now, it is Rs 500 up to 20 kW and Rs 100 for every 20 kW or part of. High tension (HT) consumers will have to pay Rs 5,000 flat.

Other clauses of the regulations are: All meters to have advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) facility with Rs 485 for higher communication port and check meter for solar generation is compulsory above 20 kW and it is to be installed by MSEDCL.

Source: Times of India