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Installation of subsidised domestic solar photovoltaic systems may begin soon in Tamil Nadu

According to reports, the installation of subsidised domestic solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems may begin soon with the relaxation of the code of conduct for the recent elections. Though the authorities cleared applications from 500 domestic consumers before the code came into effect, certain issues hampered the process. The major issue pertained to net meters (bi-directional meters) in place of the existing consumer meters. These meters will record the quantum of energy supplied to the consumer and what has been generated at the consumer end.

Enquiries with authorised vendors reveal that the consumers were keen on the installation of net meters at the time of putting up the main system. The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), which could not finalise the tender for net meters because of the model code, will shortly place orders for the procurement of net meters, says an official of the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), the nodal organisation for the scheme for installing domestic SPV systems. The meters are expected to be available in a month. The installation of the domestic SPV systems forms part of the State government’s scheme for capital incentive for solar rooftop units. One of the aims is to cut the power bill of consumers, especially those at the high end. The reduction will be achieved through net metering. The battery-less systems will be linked to the grid. For an individual home or a flat, the solar system capacity will have to be 1 KW (kilowatt). For the residential flats, it can be 5 KW or 10 KW, or multiples thereof.

Given that a one-KW system generates 1,500 units a year, if a beneficiary consumes over 500 units bi-monthly, the annual savings will be Rs. 8,625 as the tariff is Rs. 5.75 a unit for those who use more than 500 units.

Soon, the applications of 1,200 more consumers will be cleared, the official says. The plan is to give sanction to 5,000 consumers in 2013-2014 and another 5,000 this year. The TEDA has published on its website the names of the vendors along with the details of the cost of the systems. Factoring in the Centre’s subsidy of Rs. 30,000 and the State’s incentive of Rs. 20,000, the net cost of a one-KW system ranges from Rs. 43,700 to Rs. 60,000.

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