Delay in providing net meter for solar plant flayed

Tangedco says procedures were not followed

August 19, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 29, 2016 04:08 pm IST - CHENNAI:

Residents demand hassle-free procedures to install rooftop solar plants. —Photo: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Residents demand hassle-free procedures to install rooftop solar plants. —Photo: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

The governments and activists might be pitching hard for people to convert to clean and renewable fuel, but when it comes to switching over to non-conventional energy, there are a lot of issues for which there is no clarity, Chennai residents complain.

Americai Narayanan installed a solar power plant at his office-cum-residence with the hope that the hefty monthly power bills will come down once his plant is ‘linked’ to the grid through the net meter. But even several weeks after installing the rooftop plant, he is yet to get his net meter.

Now, having linked his solar plant to the grid, he suspects that he has been “feeding” surplus power to the distribution network of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco).

Mr. Narayanan, a resident of Kalakshetra Avenue, Thiruvanmiyur, complained about the delay in getting a net meter for the solar plant.

He said a plant of 15-kilowatt (kW) capacity had been installed and an application for net metering was submitted to the local authority on February 11.

He also intimated the completion of the project to the local authority.

An assistant engineer visited him on June 1 and said that any solar plant above 10 kW would have to be accompanied by a safety certificate from the Tamil Nadu Electrical Inspectorate.

In a post on his Facebook page, Mr. Narayanan complained that there was a shortage of net meters: “By not providing me reverse meter, the State government is taking the excess power produce free from me without paying for it.”

An engineer engaged in installing solar plants said that by linking the solar plant with the grid without a bi-directional meter, Mr. Narayanan might even be billed for the “surplus” power sent to the grid.

Tangedco officials however denied shortage of net meters.

An official pointed out the procedures of getting a safety certificate from the Electrical Inspectorate was mandatory before net meters could be installed, which was not done in Mr. Narayanan’s case.

Linking solar power to the grid without getting the safety certificate and installing net meter was a punishable offence, he added.

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