Net metering for rooftop solar power units in Andhra Pradesh

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 23, 2013 20:41 hrs

The state energy department on Friday said citizens going for roof top solar power generation could get their system connected to the grid or remain off the grid.

While in the first option the power generated by the solar panels will be directly injected to the grid and requires no battery storage at the consumer end unlike in off-grid solar power units. The subsidy, however, would be extended to both the options, according to M Sahoo, Principal secretary of the energy department.

"Germany has a 25,000Mw of installed capacity in rooftop solar power systems. Therefore, the potential here is very large," he said.

The net metering will be installed for a grid-connected solar power system to determine the net consumption and bill of the consumer accordingly after subtracting the amount of power generated and fed to the grid at his end. If the power injected to the grid is higher than the consumption by a particular household, the power utility pays the amount towards the surplus units once in six months. "In this case, the power utility acts as a bank for storing power generated by the individual consumer through his rooftop solar system" Sahoo said.

However, there are a couple of constraints in adopting the net metering model. Firstly grid connectivity will be provided only to those domestic services that have 3-phase connections. Such connections account for only 20 per cent of the domestic connections even in a city like Hyderabad. The consumer will have to pay higher minimum charges. In villages net metering is not a viable option at this point as rural areas continue to face day time power cuts, officials say.

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