E. Boopathy, who has 20 power looms at Karanampettai in Coimbatore District, went in for solar energy systems three years ago. He installed five kw solar energy panels to operate 10 power looms.
“I invested Rs. 6 lakh for this project and have batteries to store solar energy. I use solar power during day time,” he says.
However, the project has not resulted in significant cost saving. Mr. Boopathy gets about 20 units of solar energy a day.
Though it is for captive use, the system is not connected to the grid.
He says the project will be viable only if the smaller industries are able to connect the solar energy system to the grid.
However, according to TANGEDCO officials here, net metering is permitted for solar systems installed for domestic service connections and commercial connections.
There are several industries, private schools and educational institutions here that have gone in for 100 kw or lesser capacity solar energy panels.
They are Low Tension (LT) consumers and hence do not get the benefit of net metering.
They cannot connect the solar energy system to the grid for captive use too.
“When the solar energy system is connected to the grid, the consumer will get grid power when solar power generation reduces. When it increases and is more than the need, it get exported to the grid,” according to an official.
Most of the LT industries who have installed solar energy panels now manage the systems in-house, without connecting to the grid. But, this results in interruption of the production process when the units switch over from solar energy to grid power.
“We have already written to the TANGEDCO head office regarding this,” the official said.