Last week, the Delhi Electricity Regulator Commission (DERC) released the guidelines for implementation of solar energy systems on rooftops in the city. The document details the procedure for application, registration and connectivity. These guidelines bring clarity to the nitty-gritties of installing solar on rooftops and greatly simplifies the approach for people looking to go solar. The key takeaways:
- The registration process has been divided into 3 tiers: feasibility analysis, registration and connection agreement
- The rooftop solar plant must get connected to the grid within one year of registration
- If more power is fed into the grid than taken out, the distribution company will, at the end of the year, reimburse the system owner at the Average Power Purchase Cost (APPC) for that year (currently around INR 4.75-5/unit)
The local transformer capacity allotted for renewable energy systems will be at least 20 % of the rated capacity of the transformer. In case the capacity of the renewable energy system exceeds the sanctioned load in the premises, rooftop owners will have to enhance their sanctioned load by paying “Service Line cum Development (SLD) charges”. The owner will be exempted from paying the corresponding fixed charges for load enhancement.
The procedure has been divided into three steps:
1. Feasibility analysis
The consumer will have to submit an application to the distribution company along with an application fee of INR 500 for feasibility analysis. Applications will be put on a priority list and served on a first-come, first served basis. The distribution company will then complete the feasibility analysis within 30 days of receipt of the application.
Upon completion of feasibility analysis, the distribution company will decide whether it is feasible to provide connection for the applied capacity, reduced capacity or it is unfeasible.
In case the feasibility analysis suggests reduced capacity or unfeasibility, the rooftop owners have three options:
- Accept the reduced capacity and move ahead with registration
- Seek refund of application fee within 7 days of receipt of feasibility report
- To stay in the priority list for 180 days and seek a re-consideration of the application
Within 30 days of receipt of feasibility report, the consumer is required to fill in the registration form and submit it along with requisite documents and the registration charges listed below.
||1 to ≤ 10
||> 10 to ≤ 50
||> 50 to ≤ 100
||> 100 to ≤ 300
||> 300 to ≤ 500
If the registration is found deficient or not in order, the consumer will be given two chances to rectify these after which application for registration may be rejected.
3. Connection agreement
Within 30 days from the date of registration, connection agreement will be executed between the consumer and the distribution company. The rooftop solar plant must get connected to the grid within one year of registration, failing which the registration may be cancelled and the freed capacity will be used for allotment to other applicants.
Non time of day consumers (residential and commercial/industrial consumers with a load less than 5 kW) will get their exported units of energy adjusted against their electricity consumption in the monthly bills. In case the export of energy from the solar plant exceeds the consumption from the grid, excess energy credits will be carried forward in the subsequent billing cycle.
For time of day consumers (commercial and industrial consumers with a load above 5 kW), the exported energy will be compensated with electricity consumption in similar time blocks in the billing cycle. In case of surplus export of energy, the surplus generation will be accounted as if it occurred during the off-peak time block.
Any remaining net energy credits remaining at the end of the year will be paid for the distribution company at Average Power Purchase Cost (APPC) of the company for that year (currently around INR 4.75-5/unit). In case of revision of APPC by DERC in the true up order of relevant year, the differential amount will be credited/debited to the account of the consumer.
Shikhin Mehrotra is a Research Analyst – Consulting at BRIDGE TO INDIA