According to reports, close on the heels of the state government announcing an eco-friendly policy to set up a Solar Net Metering System (SNMS) on the lines of European countries to tackle the power crisis, all the four power distribution companies are now gearing up to implement SNMS in a bid to plug the daily demand and supply gap.
The state government officially released GO MS No 27 a week ago instructing all the state discoms to work on SNMS, which will be provided to interested domestic and non-domestic consumers to generate solar power for self-consumption as well as feed the excess power into the grids of the respective discoms.
The four discoms – Visakhapatnam-based Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Limited (EPDCL), Hyderabad based Central Power Distribution Company of AP Limited (CPDCL), Warangal based Northern Power Distribution Company of AP Limited (NPDCL) and Tirupati based Southern Power Distribution Company of AP Limited (SPDCL) — currently have nearly 3 crore domestic and non-domestic consumers.
All the officer rank staff of the five operation circles of EPDCL have already been informed about SNMS and been asked to work on the project and organize awareness camps as part of the programme, said an officer.
When contacted, Kartikeya Misra chairman and managing director, NPDCL and in-charge CMD of EPDCL, said that SNMS is currently in the initial stages. “The guidelines such as safety precautions, metering designs, billing procedure are being discussed now. Once the guidelines are released, the project is likely to be rolled out,” Misra said, without disclosing the timelines for the rollout.
To begin with, an SNMS with an installed capacity of 100 kW solar plant has already been installed on a pilot basis at the Vidyut Soudha at Hyderabad by Transmission Corporation of AP Limited (APTRANSCO). Based on the results of the pilot unit, APTRANSCO has mooted implementation of SNMS facility for the domestic and industrial consumers keen on setting up solar plants at their untilised places on rooftops, waste lands, buildings of individual households, industries, offices, institutions, residential complexes.
“SNMS is nothing but a power generation system where even ordinary electricity consumers can generate power on their own sell the surplus power to discoms to which they are connected. However, the price per unit is yet to be decided by discoms after consultating with the government,” a senior EPDCL officer explained.
While quoting the recently issued GO, another EPDCL officer explained that surplus energy injected by the SNMS owner will be considered for payment by the discoms concerned at a pooled cost as may be decided by the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulation Commission for that year. The payment of pooled cost will be made effective for a period of seven years from the date of establishment of the SNMS and the settlement of the registered surplus energy will be carried out on a half-yearly basis, he added.
The Centre through the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) will give a subsidy of up to 30% of the cost of the solar panel up to a capacity of 3 kW while the state government will extend its financial support for another 20% of the cost for domestic consumers.
“The government’s rate of setting up a 1KW solar panel is about Rs 2.1 lakh. On an average, a two-bedroom house having basic electrical appliances such as LED lights, laptops, fans and LED television sets can easily save nearly 1.5 kW of power per day if they take the 3 kW SNMS that which generates 540 units of power per month,” NREDCAP manager, Visakhapatnam, PR Ramaraju said.