Bhubaneswar: The rooftop solar power plant project introduced by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) in August went a step further by inclusion of net metering system in the plant.
Through net metering, the amount of solar power consumed by a house over the monthly billing period will be free. The consumers will only have to pay for the units of electricity they have taken from the grid.
“The present rooftop solar power plant through net metering is slightly different from the earlier power plant. Here the power plant is installed on the roof top and the electricity produced by it is used in the house or is exported. The billing is done on basis of the export and import based on which the consumers can reduce their electricity costs to a large extent,” said Deputy Director of Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) Ashok Choudhury.
As per the OERC guidelines any person or government institution can install rooftop solar power plant. The consumer can install a set capacity of power plant after an agreement with the government. The amount of electricity produced from the plant should be maximum 90 percent of the total electricity consumed by the consumer annually.
However, as the cost of the power plant beyond the subsidy amount is Rs 50,000 per kilowatt, consumers have demanded a hike in the subsidy.
“Billing will be done on the electricity brought from the distributing agency minus the electricity produced by the solar power plant. If any excess amount of electricity has been exported to the distributing agency within March 31, they will not have claim on it. It will be considered as free,” said a consumer Kamal Lochan Panda.
In the first phase, 199 solar power plants have been installed in the twin city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack under a four megawatt pilot project, including 126 in Bhubaneswar and 73 in Cuttack, informed the OERC.
“For now a project for government buildings with a production capacity of four megawatt has been launched. Around 126 buildings in Bhubaneswar are included in the project. Presently, it has been installed in our buildings and the Secretariat, it will be installed phase-wise in other buildings,” said Information Officer of OERC, Purabi Das.