1.1 As a part of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), India has committed to increasing the share of installed capacity of electric power from non-fossil-fuel sources to 40% by 2030. Solar energy is one of the main source to accomplish the target of 40% of electric power from non-fossil-fuel. The government of India has set the target of achieving 100 GW of solar power capacity in the country by the year 2022 of which 40 GW to be achieved from rooftop solar (RTS).
1.2 The rooftop solar (RTS) plant is a system installed mainly on the roof of a building and includes installations on open contiguous land within the area of premises wherein valid and live electricity connection has been provided by the concerned Distribution utilities/companies (DISCOMS). Typically, 1(one) kWp RTS plant requires about 10 sq. m area. The Solar power so generated can then be used either for captive consumption of the premises or can be fed into the grid and be adjusted in the electricity bill. Net-metering regulations notified by respective State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) provide a legal framework for such adjustment. RTS plants help DISCOMs in reducing transmission and distribution losses as power consumption and generation are co-located. These Plants are also useful in tackling daytime peak load as the solar generation profile matches such peak loads during the day.
1.3 The Government, on 30th December 2015, approved a program „Grid Connected Rooftop and Small Solar Power Plants Programme‟ for the installation of 4,200 MW RTS plants in the country by year 2019-20, of which 2,100 MW was through CFA and balance 2,100 MW was without CFA. The RTS projects sanctioned under this Program are under implementation by State Nodal Agencies (SNA‟s), Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and other Government Agencies (GAs).
2.0 The Government, on 19th February 2019 approved Phase-II of „Grid Connected Rooftop and Small Solar Power Plants Programme‟ for achieving a cumulative capacity of 40 GW RTS plants by 2022. In Phase-II, it has been decided to implement the program by making the DISCOMs and its local offices as the nodal points for implementation of the RTS program. DISCOMs will play a key role in the expansion of RTS as DISCOMs are having a direct contact with end user and they provide approval for installation, manage the distribution network and also have billing interface with rooftop owner.
3 Aim and Objectives of Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme
The key objectives of the programme are:
a. To promote grid connected RTS in all consumer segments, viz., residential, institutional, social, Govt., commercial, industrial etc.
b. To bring DISCOMs at forefront as key drivers for rapid deployment of RTS.
c. To create awareness, capacity building, human resource development, etc.
d. To promote sustainable business models.
e. To create additional RTS capacity of 38000 MW in the country by 31.12.2022 out of which a capacity of 4000 MW in residential sector with Central Financial Assistance and 34000 MW in other sectors (i.e., Social, Government, educational, PSUs, Statutory /Autonomous bodies, Private Commercial, Industrial Sectors etc.) by suitably incentivizing DISCOMs
f. To promote domestic manufacturing of solar cells and module
The programme will be implemented through DISCOMs. This will lead to ease of access for the consumers. The programme provides for Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for the household owner and Group Housing Societies to set up RTS on the rooftop of their residence/residential campus. DISCOMs should create customer friendly environment by making enabling provisions in their regulations and smooth approval process required for RTS. Since the requisite expertise on solar energy for implementation of this Programme may not be available with DISCOMs, they will be at liberty to use the services of State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) engaged in the promotion of Renewable Energy of the respective States/UTs.
5. Implementation arrangement
The following major issues have been identified during the Phase-I of RTS programme: –
Multiple tenders by different agencies and subsequently considerable delay in tendering.
Involvement of multiple stakeholder viz. SNAs, DISCOMs, PSUs, Developers etc.
Lack of uniform regulation/mandatory notification for rooftop solar Lack of uniform regulations.
Lack of awareness among the prospective beneficiaries.
To address the above issues, and especially the fact that the consumer had to approach multiple agencies for getting a RTS plant installed, it has been decided to implement the programme by making the DISCOMs and its local offices as the nodal points for implementation of the RTS programme. The major components of this phase II of the programme are: –
Component A: Setting up of 4000 MW of grid connected rooftop solar projects in residential sector with Central Financial Assistance (CFA)
Component B: Incentives to Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) based on achievement towards initial 18000 MW of grid connected rooftop solar plants
5.1.1 Component A: Setting up of 4000 MW of grid connected rooftop solar projects in residential sector with Central Financial Assistance (CFA): In most of the States/UTs the residential sector enjoys benefit of subsidized electricity; therefore, beneficiaries of this sector would not be inclined to adopt rooftop solar until some capital CFA mechanism is put in place to reduce the cost of rooftop solar. Further, considering the fact that lower consumption slab pays lower tariff and vice versa, the CFA for RTS is also required to be restructured.
Odisha DISCOM’s Official website:
TPCODL, TP Central Odisha Distribution Ltd. – http://portal.tpcentralodisha.com:8080/TpcodlSolarRegistration/
TPSODL, TP Southern Odisha Distribution Limited – http://rts.odisha.gov.in/
TPWODL, TP Western Odisha Distribution Limited – http://rts.odisha.gov.in/
TPNODL, TP Northern Odisha Distribution Limited – http://rts.odisha.gov.in/