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Solar system policy: suppliers, contractors seek clarity




With December 17, as the deadline for suggestions to the proposed amendments in the state solar policy, local suppliers and contractors of solar systems are seeking clarification on the amendment that relates to net metering for small prosumers (consumer-cum- producer) of solar power.

The amendment states that, small prosumer will be allowed to go for net metering up to their sanctioned load from the electricity department, but with a generation cap of not more than 100 per cent of the average electricity consumed in the previous 12 months.

According to suppliers of solar systems the amendment is ambiguous. In a joint communication to the government, they have pointed out that, the cap must be applicable only to those houses that are not occupied as it will amount to gross metering otherwise.

Dilip Nayak, president, solar power association of Goa (SPAG) said that, proposal on net metering does not make sense in its present wording. “It needs to be explained clearly, he said. Nayak said that, overhaul in the state solar policy is welcome but the draft does not specify the generation capacity limit for large prosumers. It also does not say how much will be the wheeling charges to the state electricity department if the sale of electricity is to a third party. “The future policy is also silent on group net metering,” he said.

In their suggestion letter to the government, the SPAG has asked for timelines for conducting various activities of the solar grid connectivity process. Another request is for local contractors to be given preference in future solar plants.

“Any producer setting up solar power plants should not engage contractors other than those empanelled with Goa Energy Development Agency (GEDA),” said Nayak.

The association has also asked for 20 per cent subsidy to the commercial sector for setting up solar plants up to 100 kw.  The draft policy currently gives 50 per cent subsidy to individuals and small prosumers but no subsidy to industry or commercial sector.

“A subsidy to commercial users will boost solar power generation in the state and also increase business to our members,” said Nayak.

Members SPAG submitted their suggestions to member secretary, GEDA, on Tuesday, with copies of the letter to the Power Minister and the power secretary.

The Goa state solar power policy was notified in December 2017. The government has proposed amendments to the policy with the draft available on the GEDA website. Stakeholders have been asked to give comments and suggestions by 5.45 pm,  December 17, to the member secretary GEDA.

The new draft solar policy aims to increase solar power generation in the state to provide clean energy and to meet the renewable purchase obligation (RPO).

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