The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has issued new guidelines and a consultative paper on ‘Generic Tariff order for Grid Interactive Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Energy Generating Systems.’ TNERC has proposed generic tariffs for rooftop solar systems in the state with net metering and gross metering facilities.
Stakeholders can submit their suggestions and objections by September 1, 2021, on the TNERC website.
The Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Policy 2019 has set a rooftop solar target of 3,600 MW by 2023.
The government has issued these regulations to review the existing rules and set generic tariffs for rooftop solar systems of capacities in the range of 1-10 kW, 11-100 kW, 101-500 kW, and 501-999 kW.
These regulations will apply to all the distribution licensees (DISCOMs) and their electricity consumers in the state. New domestic customers and those with existing net-feed-in facilities are eligible for adopting the new mechanism.
Eligible consumers who have installed or intend to install grid-interactive solar systems can apply for a net-metering arrangement, which would be allowed on a first-come, first-served basis. They can use the power generated from the solar system at their premises and inject the surplus into the distribution system.
Any surplus energy over and above the consumption in a billing cycle injected into the grid would be considered as energy supplied during off-peak hours. Consumers are required to make appropriate safety arrangements to prevent electrical accidents.
Existing meters in the premises of the eligible consumer would be replaced by the net meter at the cost of the consumer. All meters must have an advanced metering infrastructure facility.
The renewable energy generated by an eligible consumer under the net metering or net billing (gross metering) arrangement is not eligible for a renewable energy certificate.
Under net metering, the electricity consumed from the grid-interactive solar system would qualify for compliance with renewable purchase obligation (RPO). If the consumer is not an obligated entity, the electricity consumed will be considered for DISCOM’s RPO.
Under the new regulations, DISCOMs have the following obligations:
- Install check meters for solar systems above 20 KW
- Rectify any defect beyond the point of the net meter
- Settle all the unadjusted units at the general tariff rate
- Maintain the renewable energy generation meter
- Furnish the break-up of total capacity and impact of Solar PV systems installed under various metering mechanisms.
- Ensure that the interconnection of the solar systems and the network conforms to the standards and specifications specified in the Central Electricity Authority regulations and the Tamil Nadu electricity Code.
- Furnish break-up of the cumulative capacity of the renewable energy generating systems installed under various metering mechanisms every quarter and publish them on the website.
TNERC will determine the feed-in and retail tariffs for the energy exported to/or imported from the grid. The Commission proposes introducing a time-of-day premium tariff during periods of high demand to promote and incentivize investments in solar energy storage systems.
The Commission has proposed the following capacity categories, capital costs, solar energy tariffs, and peak hour time-of-day feed-in tariffs in the consultative paper:
The proposed capital cost includes all equipment costs and labor costs for the design and installation of the solar PV system.
The generic tariffs for rooftop solar systems of 1-10 kW are proposed as ₹3.99 (~$0.053)/kWh, ₹3.70 (~$0.049)/kWh for system capacities of 11-100 kW, ₹3.51 (~$0.047)/kWh for rooftop solar systems of 101-500 kW capacity and ₹3.12 (~$0.042)/kWh for solar system capacities of 501-999 kW.
The state has set a benchmark tariff of ₹2.28 (~$0.031)/kWh for 20,000 agricultural solar pumps under component-C of the KUSUM program.
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