FAQs

January 25, 2019

In a solar rooftop system, the solar panels are installed in the roof of any residential,
commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. This can be of two types (i) Solar Rooftop
System with storage facility using battery, and (ii) Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System.

Such rooftop system has battery as storage facility. The solar electricity is stored in the battery
and can be utilized during night also when the sun is not available.

In grid connected rooftop or small SPV system, the DC power generated from SPV panel is
converted to AC power using power conditioning unit and is fed to the grid either of 33 kV/11
kV three phase lines or of 440/220 Volt three/single phase line depending on the capacity of
the system installed at institution/commercial establishment or residential complex and the
regulatory framework specified for respective States.
These systems generate power during the day time which is utilized fully by powering captive
loads and feed excess power to the grid as long as grid is available. In case, where solar power
is not sufficient due to cloud cover etc., the captive loads are served by drawing power from
the grid.

Such rooftop systems can be installed at the roofs of residential and commercial complex,
housing societies, community centers, government organizations, private institutions etc.

The average cost of grid connected rooftop solar systems is about Rs. 40 per watt or Rs.
4.0crore per MWp capacity.

There is a provision of Central Financial Assistance tender to tender basis. However Income tax benefits (AD benefit) is available for the industrial or commercial clients.

There are provisions of concessional import duty/excise duty exemption, accelerated
depreciation and tax holiday for setting up of grid connected rooftop power plants.

Department of Financial services has instructed to all Public Sector Banks to encourage home
loan/ home improvement loan seekers to install rooftop solar PV plants and include cost of
system in their home loan proposals. So far, nine PSBs namely Bank of India, Syndicate Bank,
State Bank of India, Dena Bank , Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank,
Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank have given instructions to extend loan for Grid
Interactive Rooftop Solar PV Plants as home loan/ home improvement loan.

The rooftop solar systems from 1 kWp upto 500 kWp or in combination can be set up on the
roofs.

About 10sq.m area is required to set up 1 kWp grid connected rooftop solar system.

  • Electricity generation at the consumption center and hence Savings in transmission and
    distribution losses
  • Low gestation time
  • No requirement of additional land
  • Improvement of tail-end grid voltages and reduction in system congestion with higher self-consumption of solar electricity
  • Local employment generation

According to a study conducted by TERI, a potential of 124 GWp SPV Rooftop plants has been
estimated in the country. This can be achieved through active supports from the States.

The grid connected rooftop system can work on net metering basis wherein the beneficiary
pays to the utility on net meter reading basis only. Alternatively two meters can also be
installed to major the export and import of power separately. The mechanism based on gross
metering at mutually agreed tariff can also be adopted.

In feed-in-tariff the Government offers a tariff for purchase of the solar power generated from
such plants.

Net metering mechanism is more popular among States.

In case the grid fails, the solar power has to be fully utilized or stopped immediately feeding to
the grid so as to safe-guard any grid person/technician from getting shock (electrocuted) while
working on the grid for maintenance etc. This feature is termed as ‘Islanding Protection’.

(i) States should have conducive solar policy to allow the grid connectivity.
(ii) State Regulators have issued tariff order for appropriate tariff, net-metering/feed-in
tariff and the grid connectivity, and
(iii)The Distribution Companies agree to allow grid connectivity and purchase the
electricity on feed-in-tariff or through net metering arrangement.

So far, 13 States/UTs namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana,
Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West
Bengal have notified policies that include promotion of grid connected rooftop solar systems
with net metering. Regulation from the State Electricity Regulatory Commission is also
required to allow net metering/ feed-in-tariff.

20 State/UT Regulators from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana,
Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and
West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu,
Lakshadweep, Pondicherry and Goa have so far issued these regulations for netmetering/gross metering

The Ministry has so far sanctioned 361 MWp aggregate capacity of grid connected rooftop
solar systems in the country of which 42 MWp have been commissioned.

The Projects under these guidelines fall within two broad categories i.e.(a) the projects
connected to HT voltage at distribution network (i.e. below 33 kV) (b) the projects connected
to LT voltage i.e. 400/415/440 volts (3-phase) as the case may be or 230 volts (1-phase).
Accordingly, the projects may be under the following two categories.

Category 1: Projects connected at HT level (below33kV) of distribution network

The Projects with proposed installed capacity of minimum 50 kW and upto 500 kW and
connected at below 33kV shall fall with in this category. The projects will have to follow
appropriate technical connectivity standards in this regard.

Category 2: Projects connected at LT level (400 Volts-3 phase or 230 Volts-1 phase)

The Projects with proposed installed capacity of less than100kW and connected of the grid at
LT level (400/ 415/ 440 volts for 3-phase or 230V for1-phase) shall fall within this category.

There can be many possible business models, some of which can be considered are as follows:

(a) Solar installations owned by consumer

  • Solar Rooftop facility owned, operated and maintained by the consumer(s).
  • Solar Rooftop facility owned by consumer but operated and maintained by the 3rd party.

(b) Solar installations owned, operated and maintained by 3rd Party

If the 3rd party implements the solar facility and provides services to the consumers, combinations
could be:

  • Arrangement as a captive generating plant for the roof owners

The 3rd party implements the facility at the roof or within the premise of the consumers; the
consumer may or may not invest as equity in the facility as mutually agreed between them. The
power is then sold to the roof owner.

  • Solar Lease Model, Sale to Grid

The 3rd party implementing the solar facility shall enter into a lease agreement with the
consumer for medium to long term basis on rent. The facility is entirely owned by the 3rd party
and consumer is not required to make any investment in facility. The power generated is fed
into the grid and the roof top owner gets a rent.

(c) Solar Installations Owned by the Utility

  • Solar installations owned operated and maintained by the DISCOM

The DISCOM may own, operate and maintain the solar facility and also may opt to sub contract
the operation and maintenance activity. The DISCOM may recover the cost in the form of
suitable tariff. The electricity generation may also be utilized by DISCOM for fulfilling the solar
renewable purchase obligation.

  • Distribution licensee provides appropriate viability gap funds

The DISCOM may appoint a 3rd party to implement the solar facilities on its behalf and provide
appropriate funds or viability gap funds for implementing such facility.

The programme is being implemented through multiple agencies for rapid up-scaling in an
inclusive mode. These agencies are:

(i) State Nodal Agencies(SNAs)
(ii) Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)
(iii) Channel Partners:

a) Renewable Energy Service Providing Companies (RESCOs)
b) System Integrators
c) Manufactures of any component of the Solar Plants
d) Project developers
e ) Vendors/ suppliers of solar equipment
f) Reputed and relevant NGOs of National level

(iv) Financial Institutions/Financial Integrators

The Financial Institutions like NABARD, National Housing Banks, Other Banks, IREDA, SECI
etc.

(v) Other Govt. Departments/Agencies

The other Govt. Departments/Agencies i.e., Railways, Defense/Para Military Forces, Local
Government Bodies including Municipal Corporations/Municipalities, PSUs, Institutions,
Development Authorities, DMRC, State Departments interested in directly implementing the
programme.

The achievements against the targets fixed for Phase-I are as under:

The achievements of JNNSM till date are:

India is endowed with vast solar energy potential. About 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy is
incident over India’s land area with most parts receiving 3-5 kWh per sq. m per day. Based
upon the availability of land and solar radiation, the potential of solar power in the country has
been assessed to be 750 GWp.

The State-wise commissioned capacity of Grid Solar Power Projects in the country are as
under:

The scheme for development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects has
been rolled out by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy 12-12-2014. The Scheme has been
conceived on the lines of the “Charanka Solar Park” in Gujarat which is a first-of-its-kind large
scale Solar Park in India with contiguous developed land and transmission connectivity.

This scheme envisages supporting the States in setting up solar parks at various locations
in the country with a view to create required infrastructure for setting up of Solar Power
Projects. The solar parks will provide suitable developed land with all clearances, transmission
system, water access, road connectivity, communication network, etc. This scheme will
facilitate and speed up installation of grid connected solar power projects for electricity
generation on a large scale. All the States and Union Territories are eligible for benefitting
under the scheme.

Salient Features

i. It is proposed to set up at least 25 Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects
targeting over 20,000 MW of solar power installed capacity within a span of 5 years
starting from 2014-15.
ii. The capacity of the Solar Parks shall be 500 MW and above. However, smaller parks may
be considered in Himalayan Region & other hilly States where contiguous land may be
difficult to acquire in view of difficult terrain and in States where there is acute shortage
of non-agricultural land.
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iii. The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with the State Governments and their
agencies. The choice of implementing agency for developing and maintaining the park is
left to the State Government.
iv. The implementing agency will be sanctioned a grant of upto Rs.25 Lakh/Park for
preparing Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Solar Park.
v. Thereafter, application may be made by the implementing agency to Solar Energy
Corporation of India (SECI) for the grant of up to Rs. 20 lakhs/MW or 30% of the project
cost including Grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower. The approved grant will be
released by SECI as per milestones prescribed in the scheme.
vi. Subsequently, in-principle approval was accorded to 16 Solar Parks of aggregate capacity
of 12120 MW planned to be set up in 10 States (A.P, Gujarat, Rajasthan, M.P, Telangana,
Punjab, U.P, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya and Karnataka). Grant of Rs. 141.50 Cr. has been
released to Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) by 31st December, 2014.
vii. M/s AP Solar Power Corporation Pvt. Ltd. a JV amongst SECI, AP Genco and NREDCAP, is
setting up a Solar Power Park of capacity 1500 MW at Anantpur & Kadapa. M/s NTPC has
planned to set up 1000 MW in the said Solar Park.