These meters will replace the existing ones

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) will have to install fresh meters for domestic consumers who opt for rooftop solar power units.

Giving this direction, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC), in its order a few days ago, stated that these meters would replace the existing ones used by such consumers. Their cost would be recovered from the consumers. The Corporation had been directed to submit a detailed procedure, covering a host of issues such as standards and location of meters, tariff for excess generation or lapsed units and period of power credit, to the Commission within 30 days.

The order follows the formulation of the Solar Energy Policy by the State government.

As part of the policy, the consumers would be offered a generation based incentive (GBI) of Rs. 2 per unit for the first two years; Re 1 per unit for next two years and 50 paise per unit for the subsequent 2 years.

This would apply to all solar power units or solar-wind hybrid rooftop installations set up before March 31, 2014.

Out of 3,000 megawatt (MW) expected to be added through solar power by 2015, roof-top installations account for 350 MW, of which 50 MW will be from domestic consumers, says the Policy document.

Solar purchase obligation

As the policy has prescribed solar purchase obligation (SPO) for commercial establishments of low-tension category and high-tension consumers including special economic zones and information technology parks, the order states that in the event of any of these consumers not complying with the SPO norms, a fee, called “forbearance price,” will have to be paid by defaulters to the Tangedco, which is the administrator of the SPO.

The details of the price are expected to be spelt out later.

As on January 31 this year, solar power plants in general account for seven MW of the State’s installed capacity of 7,866 MW through renewable energy.

The break-up of the installed capacity of renewable energy units is: wind – 7,115 MW; cogeneration plants of sugar mills – 576 MW and biomass power plants – 168 MW. The installed capacity of plants, using conventional sources of energy, is 10,722.5 MW.

Demand-side management

Through another order, the Commission notified regulations on demand side management (DSM), according to which distribution licensee would have to constitute DSM cell at its head office and sub-cell in each region.

At present, Tangedco is the distribution licensee.

The TNERC would form a consultation committee, comprising representatives of different categories of consumers such as educational institutions, industry, agriculture and domestic consumers who have special knowledge in power sector. Officials concerned would also form part of the committee.

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