For the first time in the country , a feed-in tariff for rooftop solar power will be fixed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) soon.
State power utility Tangedco has proposed the new tariff to resolve the net-metering problems faced by rooftop power generators.
Many individuals, schools, colleges and other buildings have solar power units on terraces but are unable to connect them to the grid without a net meter which calculates the number of units of power the consumer uses from the grid and how many units the rooftop unit generates every day .
“To solve this problem of net metering, we have presented an application for a feed-in tariff for rooftop power generators. No other state has a separate tariff for solar rooftop in the country . But, we need a separate tariff for rooftop to lower the loss to Tangedco,” a senior official of the utility told TOI.
Last week, it presented the application to TNERC and a new tariff for rooftop solar power is expected to be available within a few months.
Currently , rooftop tariff is calculated on the basis of solar power tariff, which is high compared to what consumers pay for using power from the grid. “From the grid, consum ers get subsidy which the government pays to Tangedco annually .
For example, the first 100 units are free for all domestic consumers and since 2014, the government waived fee for consumers using less than 500 units per month.Thus, domestic consumers get two type of subsidies for using power from the grid but when they sell solar power, Tangedco pays the full tariff to them,” said the official.
There are several domestic consumers in high-end apartment buildings who have set up rooftop solar projects with a capacity between 2KW and 15KW. “There are many apartment complexes in K K Nagar, Porur, Ashok Nagar and other areas with rooftop solar power units of various capacities depending on the terrace area.But most of them don’t have net meter and are unable to transfer the excess power to the grid,” Confederation of Solar Energy Solution Provider founder T S Ramesh told TOI.
Each KW needs an investment of `85,000 to `1 lakh.”There are some consumers who are using solar power offline (without transferring it to the grid) with the help of a battery . But the battery cost is an additional 30% of the solar power project and many of them have an inverter in their homes and therefore don’t want to have another inverter-like battery ,” said Ramesh.