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Story when CERC announced new policy for rooftop solar energy project with capacity less than 1 MW in India

Friday, June 11, 2010 1 comments

I have just gone through "Draft tariff guidelines for rooftop PV and other small solar power plants". It is a well detailed but involves too much technical and legal language. I would like to highlight some of the key takeaways that would be useful for understanding the new policy guidelines.
·         The tariff period for Rooftop PV and Other Small Solar Power Projects shall be 25 years
·         Project specific tariff, on case to case basis, shall be determined by the State Commission for Rooftop PV and Other Small Solar Power Projects based on technologies such as concentrated photovoltaic, dish sterling engine or any other technology, if a project developer opts for project specific tariff.
·         For generic tariff to be determined on suo motu basis, the debt equity ratio shall be 70:30
·         For the project specific tariff, the following provisions shall apply :-
Ø       If the equity actually deployed is more than 30% of the capital cost, equity in excess of 30% shall be treated as normative loan.
·         The normative return on equity shall be:
Ø       Pre-tax 19% per annum for first 10 years
Ø       Pre-tax 24% per annum 11th year onwards
·         The proceeds of the carbon credit from approved CDM Project shall be shared between the project developers and concerned off taker in following manner
Ø       100% of the gross proceeds on account of CDM benefit to be retained by the developer in first year after the date of commercial operation
Ø       In the second year, the share of the beneficiaries shall be 10% which shall be progressively increased by 10% every year till it reaches 50%, where after the proceeds shall be shared in equal proportion by generating company and the beneficiaries
·         The Capacity utilization factor for Rooftop PV and Other Small Solar Power Projects shall be 18.0%
·         The normative capital cost for setting up a Rooftop PV and Other Small Solar Power Project for FY 2010-11 shall be Rs. 1740 Lakh/MW
·         The O&M Expenses shall be Rs. 11 Lakh/MW for the 1st year of operation for Rooftop PV and Other Small Solar Power Projects
·         The Rooftop PV and Other Small Solar Power Projects deploying PV modules and Inverter systems complying with relevant IEC/BIS standards and/or compliant with applicable standards as specified by Central Electricity Authority shall alone be considered to be technically qualified
·         The metering arrangements for all grid interactive Rooftop PV and Other Small Solar Power Plants shall essentially be in accordance with the metering scheme finalized by the appropriate State Electricity Regulatory Commission
·         The communication must be able to support Real time data logging, Event logging, Supervisory control, Operational modes and Set point editing
This policy would bring some clarity to the people interested in roof-top system. There are some tariff issues still pending but it's a good move by government in the forward direction.
Note: This is a compilation of policy guidelines from CERC website. For more information you can visit http://www.cercind.gov.in/
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Story when you thought ‘over-the-top’ to answer energy woes in India!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 1 comments

Just imagine how many of us have a car at home? What other use can we make of the it other than traveling? Think of any?
Now here's the idea! Start installing the solar modules on car/ bus roof-tops. It won't look that bad for sure! There are roughly 20 million cars in India. If we take a conservative estimate of 20% conversion, it translates to 4 million cars! A nationwide legislation can be brought in for its implementation.
Now here's how it will work! Most of the time the cars/ buses are standing idle in the car shed or in front of office. A solar panel can be assembled with an average cost of INR 70 per watt based on the car roof size. This can also be provided at a subsidized rate. The power generated from these panels can be drawn in the smart grids (which will soon become a reality in India). Each car owner can be given a unique id on which will contain his/ her solar panel information. So whenever, the car owner attached the power cord to the smart grids, his account will get credited with the power his panel produces. As an advanced feature, at certain points a 'grid-charging' point can be placed wherein a motorist can feed in more solar energy in grid when his car is idle.
The car owners can be rebated from their household electricity bills based on the power generated by the panels. Household doesn't have to install a large residential roof-top and still can avail the benefits such as reduced electricity bills and RECs.
Various state-owned and private road transportation agencies can do the same on their buses which run during the day time and the solar power generated can be saved in batteries. These would reduce the power generation burden in various states at night when the power usage is maximum.
Though it's a bit ambitious, a nationwide legislation along with technology interoperability will see this concept through. Any takers of this idea?
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