R'sthan Renewable Association Raises Solar Industry Issues with RRECL; Gets Resolve Assurance

With an aim to get some effective solutions for the prevailing issues with which the solar industry stakeholders in Rajasthan are dealing with, the members of REAR Renewable Energy Association on Friday met with the executives of the state-owned Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL).

November 07, 2020. By Manu Tayal

With an aim to get some effective solutions for the prevailing issues with which the solar industry stakeholders in Rajasthan are dealing with, the members of REAR Renewable Energy Association on Friday met with the executives of the state-owned Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL).

During the meeting, REAR discussed various stakeholders’ issues with RRECL related to existing residential rooftop solar subsidy scheme including 45 MW rooftop solar power generation scheme, delays in testing processes and approval on net meters & solar meters at distribution companies (Discoms) level, standardization of net metering application procedures at Discoms’ level etc.

Industry body earlier also wrote a letter requesting speeding up of the process of providing approvals for load extension and net metering from Discoms, along with the timely issuance of no-objection certificates (NOCs) for net metering connections and for meter testing.

In order to increase awareness about government’s residential rooftop solar subsidy scheme, REAR suggested that various mediums of communication like Radio FM channels and advertisements in news papers etc should be used in the state.

The industry body was also of the view that advance funding and timely payment from the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) to Discoms and RRECL, would also be a great help.

As per the subsidy scheme for residential rooftop solar system installation upto 3kW, government provides 40 per cent subsidy, which initially be borne by the EPC or empanelled vendor, and any delay in release of subsidy will be borne by the EPC itself and resulted in financial burden to them.

Thus, some industry stakeholders was of the view that “there should be some time commitment by MNRE or state nodal agency (SNA), exceeding which EPC could get interest on the delayed amount.”

However, RRECL assured REAR members by saying that “very soon subsidy process and net metering application will be online, as it is working on Unified Web Portal (UWP), which will get ready by December this year.”

After a meeting with RRECL and Discoms, REAR said that - all small and major issues have been shared with them and they assured that they are actively working and resolving our all issues.

Adding to it, REAR optimistically said that “there are also chances of considering the existing meter of consumer as solar meters, which will be a great relief for consumer as well as the Vendor.”

This is in line with the REAR President Ajay Yadav and Gen Secretary Arvind Sindhawa’s letter, written in October 2020, to the MD of RRECL requesting approval for use of existing energy meter as solar meter in the rooftop solar projects, on the back of shortage of solar meters and net-meters in the market due to which the projects under subsidy scheme are getting delayed.

They were of the view that in such a situation ‘Existing Energy Meter’ should be considered to be used as ‘Solar/Generation Meter’ and only new net-meter should be installed for solar projects.

The industry body also added in letter that “the solar project prices are getting lower day by day and consumer expect even more decline in the price so vendors/MSMEs working in the solar industry finding it difficult to survive. It would not be advisable to waste or duplicate any cost unnecessarily, which would be burden on EPC player as well as consumer.”

In many cases, where the consumer requires load enhancement and converts its connection from 1 phase to 3 phase for solar installation, the new meter needs to be installed at the time of load enhancement, which will again get removed or replaced at the time of net-metering. This is merely the wastage of consumer’s money and resources, it added.

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