01.Grid Connected Systems

1What is a Solar Rooftop System?
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.
2What is a Solar Rooftop System with Storage facility?
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.
3What is a Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System ?
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.
4Where such plants can be installed ?
Such rooftop systems can be installed at the roofs of residential and commercial complex, housing societies, community centers, government organizations, private institutions etc.
5What is the average cost of grid connected rooftop solar systems?
The average cost of grid connected rooftop solar systems is about Rs. 80 per watt or Rs. 8.0crore per MWp capacity.
6What is the Financial Assistance provided by the Ministry?
There is a provision of Central Financial Assistance of 15% of the total cost or Rs. 12 per watt or Rs. 1.20 crore per MWp under the Grid Connected Rooftop and Small Solar Plants Programme of the Ministry. This CFA has been reduced from 30% to 15%.
7What are the other fiscal incentives are available for Solar Rooftop Systems?
There are provisions of concessional import duty/excise duty exemption, accelerated depreciation and tax holiday for setting up of grid connected rooftop power plants.
8What efforts Government is making to providing loans for solar rooftop systems?
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.
9What is the size of grid connected rooftop solar system?
The rooftop solar systems from 1 kWp upto 500 kWp or in combination can be set up on the roofs.
10How much roof area is required to set up the grid connected rooftop solar system?
About 10 sq.m area is required to set up 1 kWp grid connected rooftop solar system.
11What are the advantages of 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
12What is the potential available in India?
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.
13Net metering 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.
Feed-in-Tariff In feed-in-tariff the Government offers a tariff for purchase of the solar power generated from such plants.
14Among net metering and feed-in-tariff what is preferred?
Net metering mechanism is more popular among States.
15In case of grid failure, is there any chance for shocks to the person who is repairing?
In case the grid fails, the solar power has to be fully utilized or stopped immediately feeding to the grid so as to safeguard any grid person/technician from getting shock (electrocuted) while working on the grid for maintenance etc. This feature is termed as ‘Islanding Protection’.
16What are requirements from State to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
(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.
17How many States have policies to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
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.
18How many States Regulators have notified orders to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
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 net metering/gross metering.
19What is the present status about sanctions under the grid connected rooftop solar programme?
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.
20What are the grid connectivity levels for such systems?
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 (below 33kV) of distribution network The Projects with proposed installed capacity of minimum 50 kW and upto 500 kW and connected at below 33kV shall fall within 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 than 100kW and connected of the grid at LT level (400/ 415/ 440 volts for 3-phase or 230V for 1-phase) shall fall within this category.
21What are the business models that can facilitate the promotion of grid connected rooftop solar systems?
There can be many possible business models, some of which can be considered are as follows:
(a) Solar installations owned by consumer
i) Solar Rooftop facility owned, operated and maintained by the consumer(s).
ii) 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:
i) 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.
ii) 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 rooftop owner gets a rent.

(c) Solar Installations Owned by the Utility
i) 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.
ii) 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.
22Which organizations are setting up the projects for end users?
10 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.
23What are the targets under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)?
The targets under JNNSM are as under: Application Segment Target for Phase
1 (2010- 13) Cumulative Target for Phase
2 (2013-17) Cumulative Target for Phase
3 (2017-22) Grid solar power (large plants, rooftop & distribution grid plants) 1,100 MW 10,000 MW 20,000 MW Off-grid solar applications 200 MW 1,000 MW 2,000 MW Solar Thermal Collectors (SWHs, solar cooking, solar cooling, Industrial process heat applications, etc.) 7 million sq. meters 15 million sq. meters 20 million sq. meters
24What are the achievements against the targets fixed for Phase-I of JNNSM in solar energy?
The achievements against the targets fixed for Phase-I are as under: Application Segment Target for Phase - I (2010-13) Achievements Grid solar power (large plants, rooftop & distribution grid plants) 1,100 MW 1686.44 MW commissioned Off-grid solar applications 200 MW 252.5 MW sanctioned Solar Thermal Collectors (SWHs, solar cooking, solar cooling, Industrial process heat applications, etc.) 7 million sq. meters 7.01 million sq. meter installed
25What are the achievements of JNNSM till date?
The achievements of JNNSM till date are: Application Segment Achievements Grid solar power (large plants, rooftop & distribution grid plants) 3382.78 MW commissioned Off-grid solar applications 357.18 MW sanctioned Solar Thermal Collectors (SWHs, solar cooking, solar cooling, Industrial process heat applications, etc.) 8.77 million sq. meter installed
26What is the gross potential of solar power in the country?
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.
27What is the State-wise total commissioned capacity of Grid Solar Power Projects in the country so far?
The State-wise commissioned capacity of Grid Solar Power Projects in the country are as under: Commissioning Status of Grid Connected Solar Power Projects under Various Schemes Sr. No. State/UT Total commissioned capacity till 28-02-15 (MW) 1 Andhra Pradesh 236.86 2 Arunachal Pradesh 0.025 3 Chhattisgarh 7.6 4 Gujarat 949.05 5 Haryana 12.8 6 Jharkhand 16 7 Karnataka 77 8 Kerala 0.025 9 Madhya Pradesh 499.58 10 Maharashtra 334.4 11 Orissa 31.76 12 Punjab 119.77 13 Rajasthan 902.1 14 Tamil Nadu 111.76 15 Telangana 8 16 Uttar Pradesh 49.71 17 Uttarakhand 5 18 West Bengal 7.21 19 Andaman & Nicobar 5.1 20 Delhi 5.465 21 Lakshadweep 0.75 15 22 Puducherry 0.025 23 Chandigarh 2 24 Others 0.79 TOTAL 3382.78
28Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects.
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. 16 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.

Off- Grid

1What is the Procedure to register as Channel Partner?
There are 5 types of channel partners and they can participate in the programme through the following procedure: A RESCO is a entity which would install, own & operate RE systems and provide energy services to consumers. These entities may tie up with FIs for accessing the financial support under the scheme. These are in fact the only entities which would approach the MNRE on their own. CRISIL is in the process of putting in place a system of accreditation.

From September 2010 these entities could approach either CRISIL, CARE or FITCH to have themselves accredited and if they meet the minimum requirements laid down by MNRE they would be in a position to approach the Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) with their proposal for a in principle approval. The PAC would then provide the entity “ in principle “ approval and allow it to move forward with the implementation. The PAC would also specify that on completing the project, 50% of the funds would be made available automatically and the remaining on completing monitoring.

As far as the Financial Institutions as channel partner is concerned, a comprehensive refinance scheme has already been notified by IREDA. The SPV Division has also floated an EoI, wherein they have received over 80 applications from entities interested in partnering in the bank led scheme. The SPV Division would shortlist the manufacturers region-wise or across the country depending on the strength of their existing after-sales network. The Division will also identify various products after verifying how each of the product is meeting the standards laid down by MNRE, and then along with NABARD, design a pre-approved scheme which will allow RRBs to proceed with the lending for the above identified products and empanelled manufacturers.

It is highlighted that the process of empanelling both the manufacturers and products would be an ongoing process in order to make sure that if there are new players who meet the requisite standards can also be appropriately empanelled. This process it is hoped will result in enabling NABARD to announce their pre-approved scheme to all the financial institutions, which have a refinance agreement with them. IREDA will, after signing the agreement in Mumbai on 25th August, place token funds with NABARD to initiate the implementation of this scheme.

System integrators can approach the PAC, with their project in the formats finalise to seek an ‘in principle’ approval. Since these are entities who would first interact with their market and build a project based on the tentative orders that they have been provided by their clients, the PAC would appraise the project on three basic parameters:-
(i) The ability of the entity to implement the project in terms of the skill set of their personnel.
(ii) Details of how parameters of quality would be met as per the standards specified by MNRE.
(iii) O&M Plan.

System integrators would however need to approach a bank/banks who would be willing to have a three way tie up with their clients, themselves and the bank. The bank/banks would also need to have a refinance agreement in place with either IREDA, NHB or NABARD. Based on the ‘in principle’ approval, the bank would be in a position to provide the lending support to the clients that have been identified by the system integrators. It is envisaged that both the capital and interest subsidy would flow to the beneficiaries of the scheme only through the banking channel. Requisite arrangements for providing this flow have already been clearly delineated in the refinance scheme notified by IREDA.

Financial integrators are entities who need to enter into a tripartite agreement before coming to MNRE. This tripartite agreement has to be between the manufacturers/service providers, financial integrators and any other financial institutions, which is willing to support this kind of a business model. It is envisaged that the financial integrators would approach the PAC with details of their financial model as well as the product or service that they wish to provide through this financial/business model.

The PAC would appraise the project on the following parameters:
(i) Details of how parameters of quality would be met as per the standards specified by MNRE.
(ii) The ability of the entity to implement the project in terms of the skill set of their personnel.
(iii) O&M Plan.
(iv) Financial/business models and its viability.
It is expected that the financial integrators would also tie up with a scheduled commercial bank in India so that the subsidy both capital and interest can flow through the banking channel and would be covered under the refinance scheme of IREDA. In so far as the implementation of the scheme through programme administrators is concerned, there is complete clarity in how to move forward. Formats for both SPV and Solar Thermal have also been prepared.
2How to submit a project proposal?
Formats for submission of proposal are given on the Website of the Ministry. Two sets are required to be submitted to PAC.
3How the project will be approved?
Once the proposal of the channel partner is received a in- principle approval from PAC will be given within a maximum of 45 days. In case additional information is required PAC will inform within 30 days. After full information is received proposal will be cleared in two weeks.
4What is the subsidy disbursal mechanism?
The release of funds for the project shall be back ended as reimbursement on completion and verification thereof. However for programme administrators, the release of funds could be front ended, with installments of 70% on sanction and 30% on completion. However, this could be extended to other entities on provision of appropriate sureties. In respect of credit linked capital subsidy and interest subsidy the scheme would be implemented through IREDA, which will be the designated Nodal agency for disbursement of funds.
5Procedure for accreditation for channel partner/ financial integrator/ systems integrator/RESCO?
As above in (1)
6Can NGOs directly approach MNRE for implementation of projects?
Only the NGOs who have already been working closely with MNRE can access the scheme directly. Otherwise, the NGOs should collaborate with SNAs.
7Whether lighting systems to be provided should be certified by SEC or other test centers?
Compliance to standards is mandatory. Certificate from test centres will help in this regard and should be provided to ensure compliance.
8What is the policy on local content of modules, batteries and other balance of systems in Off grid programme?
The scheme requires the project proponents to strictly adhere to the national/international standards specified by the Ministry from time to time. The Use of imported complete PV systems is not permitted under the scheme. However, use of imported components of a complete PV system is permitted, subject to adequate disclosure and compliance to specified quality norms and standards. The minimal technical requirements and Quality Standards in respect of the off-grid SPV power plants/ systems are given in Annexure-3 of the scheme for Solar off-grid applications. These will come into effect from 1st September 2010 to allow sufficient time to the SPV industry to gear up for the same.
9What are financial limits assigned to channel partners?
The financial limits will get decided based on the ability of the channel partner to deliver the implementation of the project within a period of 1 year. But the PAC would not accept any proposal of value less than Rs One crore or 30 kWp. Less than this amount would need to be aggregated at State level.
10Whether commercial entities can avail accelerated depreciation?
The commercial entities can claim all the benefits, which are presently available for renewable energy applications, including solar, under the Income tax act and other notifications, subject to fulfillment of the conditions.
11Whether any channel partner interested only in capital subsidy whom should he approach?
Only accredited channel partner and Programme administrators can access ‘only capital ‘subsidy. The commercial entities can access either capital subsidy or interest subsidy. They should approach a channel partner to avail subsidy.
12Whether RESCOs require any permission from Electricity boards to produce power?
Guidelines under the Electricity Act ,2003 and the extant regulations of that particular State will need to be read in conjunction to determine the process for captive power generation.
13Whether any new technologies invented anywhere can be introduced in the programme?
The Ministry could provide up to 100% CFA for undertaking pilot and demonstration projects through manufacturers and other organizations for demonstrating new and innovative applications of solar systems. The maximum CFA that would be permissible under this provision would be up to Rs 1 crore. The PAC would evaluate the proposal based on parameters like – new applications for solar (not merely using solar as a power source), possibility of reduction of cost of BoS or system design improvement, or a new concept etc.