In order to ramp up rooftop solar energy utilisation in the state, Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has revised the regulation. The new regulation allows a consumer to install a plant up to 2 MW on their premise. Earlier the capacity limitation was up to 1 MW which is common in many other Indian states. However, under this regulation, a consumer cannot install a rooftop solar capacity more than 100% of his connected load. This means that if a consumer has a connected load of 500 KW and has enough space to install 2 MW rooftop solar power plant on his premise still he can only install a capacity of only 500 KW.
At the same time, a consumer cannot install a solar power plant on bare land. As per the definition under these rooftop solar regulations, premises mean rooftops, covered elevated areas of a building, roofs of warehouses, or other infrastructure or part or combination thereof in respect of which a separate meter or metering arrangements have been made by the Licensee for the supply of electricity.
SolarDae’s Take on increasing rooftop solar capacity limit
SolarDae advocates the removal of the restriction on rooftop solar capacity limits. Due to regulatory restrictions in India, those Industrial & commercial consumers whose connected loads are above 1 MW are unable to capitalise the relatively cheaper solar energy than the grid. They have to pay higher tariffs in order to subsidize the residential and agricultural consumers. Due to the capacity-limit, the savings from these solar power plants are also less.
But regulators too have their concern- safety & stability of the grid for which they want to dissuade power consumers to feed energy from their rooftop solar plants into the grid unreasonably.
However, they also need to change their perception. Industrial & commercial consumers are energy-intensive. Therefore wherever these consumers are availing net-meter connection they will be consuming almost entire energy from their rooftop solar power plants on their premise itself. Therefore feeding energy to the grid is out of the question. In case of a gross-meter connection, state DISCOMs can due-diligently plan before allowing such connections. Besides in Uttar Pradesh, the solar energy radiation levels are also low. This means the energy from the rooftop solar plants with the gross-meter connection will also be less to cause any harm to the grid.
UPERC has also factored in the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of DISCOMs
MNRE has set higher RPO targets for DISCOMs which will progressively increase in the coming years.
The energy generated from the rooftop solar power plants will count towards the RPO of DISCOMs.
Featured Image Credit: PixaBay