MERC Notifies Generic Tariff for Rooftop Solar at Rs 3.05/unit

Highlights :

  • Maharashtra discom-MSEDCL opposed the higher generic tariff for rooftop solar consumers.
  • MERC said that the surplus solar energy production from rooftop could be used to fulfill RPO targets.
MERC Notifies Generic Tariff for Rooftop Solar at Rs 3.05/unit

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), in its suo motu order, has notified the generic tariff for the net-meter consumers of Maharashtra at Rs 3.05/unit for 2023-24. The Commission said that the solar rooftop prosumers using net meters can now sell their surplus solar energy to the local discoms at the latest tariff.

The latest tariff for rooftop consumers of Maharashtra was close to the tariff of Rs 3.05/unit-Rs 3.10/unit that the Commission decided earlier under the PM-KUSUM scheme. As per the Renewable Energy Tariff Regulations, 2019, the Commission notifies a generic tariff for rooftop solar energy, while for other solar and wind power projects, the long-term tariffs are decided through a competitive bidding process.

Earlier, the state commission published a draft notification on the generic tariff for solar rooftop power and asked for stakeholders’ views. The state discom-MSEDCL, in their objection to the tariff, had said that as net-meter rooftop consumers usually opt for solar energy for their own power needs, the segment should not be encouraged for surplus power production (with higher tariffs).

The discom urged the state commission to fix the generic tariff based on the latest rates discovered through the competitive bid for other solar projects in the state. In its latest order, the Commission had approved a rate of Rs 2.90/unit for solar electricity to be received from the state’s 500 MW grid-connected solar project. The MERC, however, set aside the objections and decided to stick to the earlier decided rate of Rs 3.05/unit.

“The utility-scale projects often have lower per kW installation and maintenance costs due to economics of scale. Project capacity tied up under PM-KUSUM is between 0.5 MW to 2 MW. Further, such surplus solar power is available at the consumer end as against grid-scale projects whose power is available at Maharashtra STU periphery, therefore if the impact of transmission charges, transmission, and distribution losses is added, then the effective rate of grid-scale project will come around that of PM-KUSUM project. Hence, the Commission deems it fit to consider the tariff discovered in PM-KUSUM as a Generic Tariff for procurement of surplus energy from Rooftop PV projects,” the MERC said in its order.

The Commission said, “The Commission hereby notifies Rs. 3.05/kWh as a Generic Tariff for procurement of surplus power at the end of the Financial year from Rooftop-PV projects for FY 2023-24. It is mandatory for Distribution Licensees to procure such surplus power at the end of the financial year, which would, in any case, be counted towards meeting their Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).”

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