Plan to let schools, colleges have solar energy plants

The institutions can export energy to the grid under two models

Updated - July 01, 2018 11:41 pm IST

Published - July 01, 2018 11:39 pm IST - CHENNAI

 Solar panels installed at the Ashram Press on the Beach Road in Puducherry.

Solar panels installed at the Ashram Press on the Beach Road in Puducherry.

Tamilnadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), State’s nodal agency for developing renewable energy, has come out with draft plans to allow educational institutions to set up solar energy plants with capacities of 1-5 MW each. The move follows an announcement made by Electricity Minister P. Thangamani in the Assembly.

The draft plan states that solar power generated can be exported to the public electricity grid under two models: the entire output may be exported to the grid directly under the gross feed-in mechanism or part of the energy can be consumed while the surplus can be exported to the grid under the net feed-in mechanism.

All government educational institutions, local body, private aided and unaided educational institutions are eligible under this programme. As per the draft guidelines, educational institutions may install solar photo voltaic V systems on roofs, elevated structures on the ground. The maximum system capacity under this programme is 5MW.

Educational institutions may opt for a net feed-in or gross feed-in mechanism and send in its proposals to TEDA, it said. TEDA would enter into agreement with institutions committing to buy solar energy that is exported to the grid. A tariff petition will be filed before the state regulator Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC).

Post-installation, the existing Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) energy meter will be replaced with a bidirectional energy meter in case of the net feed-in mechanism, while for institutions that opt for the gross feed-in mechanism, a new meter will be installed in addition to the existing service connection meter.

TEDA will sell the solar energy purchased from educational institutions to TANGEDCO to meet its renewable energy purchase obligations, to educational institutions that are not able to establish their own on-site energy system and to government departments.

“Electricity consumers, who wish to consume only green electrical energy that has been procured from distributed renewable energy sources will be able to get a special tariff that will be determined by the TNERC on the basis of a tariff petition to be filed by TEDA,” the draft said. For consumers opting for the new tariff, their TANGEDCO service connection wiring or metering will be unchanged.

“What will change is the tariff that applies to their service connection. Consumers with solar net metering are also eligible for green electrical energy tariff,” it added.

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