In a notification issued by the Karnataka Government, it has been clarified that solar rooftop installations below 1 MW are not mandated to be inspected by the electrical inspector.
Previously, as per Karnataka state electrical inspector, based on the size of installations, the following authorities were to be approached for approval:
- For rooftop solar plants up to 10kW capacity, the applicant is to approach the assistant executive engineer (AEE) of the concerned electricity supply commission (ESCOM) sub-division for obtaining safety approval
- For rooftop solar plants with more than 10kW capacity up to 100kW, the applicant must approach the jurisdictional additional chief electrical inspector of the department of electrical inspectorate to obtain safety approval
- For all rooftop solar installations over 100kW, the applicant has to approach the chief electrical inspector to the government (CEIG) to obtain safety approval
This notification spares small rooftop solar developers and consumers in the state of Karnataka, the significant amount of time and effort it would take to acquire these clearances.
The notification also states that all rooftop solar installations that belong to the government are exempt from the CEIG approval process.
Although most states have standardized rooftop solar policies and net metering regulations, many of them still lack in providing a conducive and robust environment to scale rooftop solar.
Recently, Mercom reported that the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) issued guidelines for the authorization of chartered electrical safety engineers (CESE). The authorization of a CESE is expected to help expedite procedures to get charging approvals from the Chief Electrical Inspector, which has been a cumbersome process for wind and solar energy projects in the past.
Karnataka is currently the top state in the country terms of rooftop solar installations.
According to Mercom India Research’s newly released Q2 2018 India Solar Market Update, the state has 5.2 GW of utility solar projects in operation along with a strong ~2.1 GW pipeline.
Shaurya is a staff reporter at MercomIndia.com with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.