In a bid to promote green power in the state, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has issued gazette notification on installation of net metering system of rooftop photo voltaic (PV) solar power units. With the issuance of the notification last week, solar power can now be harnessed by domestic as well as commercial power consumers. “From homes to offices, anyone can use this facility by installing solar power units individually that will now be connected to the state’s power grid directly”, city-based activist Sudhir Budhay, who has been pushing the case, said.
“With new meters to be installed, eligible applicants can get credits for their solar power and adjust them against their normal bills for electricity supplied by respective distribution companies anywhere in the state,” the notification stated. A net meter can record import as well as export of power. Budhay had filed a public interest litigation in this connection in 2012, and later, the matter was taken up by MERC.
Though promoting solar power is a state policy, lack of regulation for grid connectivity made its actual implementation by common users difficult, he said. “A roof top unit may involve one time investment starting from around Rs 1 lakh for 1 KV producing 150 units a month. Consumers using around 500 units or more in a month can find solar units economical as they end up paying a high rate of Rs 8 to 10 a unit for conventional power. Cost of 2 lakh for a 2 KV unit can be recovered within five years”, he said.
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