MERC denies Cleanmax’s plea to use Open Access and Net metering simultaneously

In a petition filed by Cleanmax Enviro Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd., the organization had sought clarification regarding the net metering arrangements for Open Access consumers under the MERC regulations 2015 from the commission. As a part of the reply to the petition, according to the ruling by MERC, the generators cannot use both Open Access and net metering simultaneously. The regulatory commission also mentioned that benefits of net-metering are limited to the rooftop solar installations with capacity up to 1 MW only. The generators above 1 MW can avail Open Access.

The explanatory ruling came as a result of responding to a petition filed by Cleanmax Solar to grant net metering permission for a 991 kW rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) project at Asahi India glass limited situated at MIDC – Taloja, Raigad Maharashtra. Asahi was a customer of MSEDCL with a contract demand of 7500 kVA connected at 100 kV. Asahi also availed partial open access at 3,000 kVA from traditional energy under a group captive arrangement from Sai Wardha Power Generation Limited. In 2017, Asahi made an application for Net Metering arrangement for the Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic system under the rooftop solar regulations 2015.

After listening to both the party’s petition the commission came to a decision that…

“Net metering and Open Access are two different sets of arrangements for different eligible consumers and its Regulatory framework also has been provided by the two different Regulations. If these two arrangements are mixed up then there are various issues related to Grid security, accounting, billing, settlement etc. Hence, the Commission has made Net Metering Regulations for “below 1 MW” and Open Access for “1 MW and above” and cannot avail simultaneously by same consumer”.

Hence denying Cleanmax’s plea.

One of the reasons for the commission to take this decision was their concern for grid security due to which the DISCOMs would have to go into distribution network contingencies and other related issues to Open Access and Net Metering Simultaneously.


As reported by The Hindu the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set the targets for solar and wind capacity additions for this year to 12,000 MW and 4,000 MW respectively. This comes as a surprise since the achievement till October for the same has been 1750 MW and 1502 MW respectively. Although these targets are ambitious, they are achievable as per the industrial players only if the lack of seriousness shown by the state government towards promotion of renewable energy decreases.

As per the article, the state governments are not on board. All the energy producers face a plethora of problems such as high prices and cross subsidy surcharges (CSS). Also, some state authorities such as that of Maharashtra make it more difficult for the private producers to sell electricity. States such as Tamil Nadu allow net metering only for individual houses and not for educational institutes and factories. This goes against the intentions of the Government of India to see 40,000 MW of rooftop plants by 2020.

Co-founder and director of REConnect Energy Solutions, Vishal Pandya, made the following observation about the scenario “Whether it is open access or rooftop or enforcement of renewable purchase obligations, the intent on the part of the state machineries seems completely missing”.

KERC Determines tariffs and other norms for Solar Rooftop and Small Photovoltaic Power Plants

This Order is applicable to all new grid connected solar rooftop and small solar photo voltaic power plants, entering into Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and commissioned on or after 2nd May, 2016 and up to 31st March, 2018.

Sharing of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) benefits between the generating company and the beneficiaries

  • 100% of gross proceeds on account of CDM benefit are to be retained by the project developer in the first year, after the date of commercial operation of the generating station,
  • In the second year, the share of distribution licensees shall be 10%, which shall be progressively increased by 10% every year till it reaches 50% and thereafter, the proceeds shall be shared in equal proportion by the generating companies and the beneficiaries.

Grid Connectivity for roof-top projects

  • 1 kW to 5 kW – single phase 230 volts
  • 5 kW to 50 kW – 3 phase 415 Volts
  • 50 kW to 1 MW – 11 kV line.


  • Metering shall be in compliance with the CEA (Installation and Operation of Meters) Regulations 2006 as amended from time to time.
  • In the case of, solar rooftop PV systems connected to LT grid of a distribution company, the concept of net metering shall be adopted and the net energy pumped into the grid shall be billed.
  • In the net -metering, the consumer is paid for the net energy i.e., the difference between energy generated from solar rooftop plant and consumed by his/her installation.
  • This concept allows only surplus energy to be injected into the grid. The Commission had proposed to continue with net-metering concept for all consumers, other than domestic consumers.
  • In the case of domestic consumers, the Commission had proposed to adopt gross metering concept where the entire energy generated by the solar rooftop plant is allowed to be injected into the grid

Note – An amendment to CEA (Installation and Operation of Meters) Regulations 2006 has been issued recently, in which a new definition of “renewable energy meter” has been introduced to extend clarity to net-metering scheme.

  • If export>import, ESCOM pays generator at the tariff determined.
  • If import > export; then generators pays to DISCOM at prevailing retail tariff.


Applicability of Wheeling and Banking Charges and Cross Subsidy Surcharge:

For solar generators going with intra-state open-access, no wheeling/banking charges or cross- subsidy charges are to be paid.

The copy of the order can be accessed here.

Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2015

Gujarat came up with its new solar power policy on 13th August 2015, which would be operative up to March 31, 2020. This new policy intends to facilitate and promote large scale promotion of the solar power generation capacities in the state and the interests of all the investors, developers, consumers and various other stakeholders.

The main features of the Policy are as follows:

-The minimum size of a MW scale project shall be 1 MW and 1 Kw for KW scale projects.

-Any company or group of individuals shall be eligible for setting up a solar generating plant, irrespective of whether they or not fall under REC mechanism in accordance with Electricity Act 2003.

-There are project based provisions and incentives provided for Rooftop solar PV systems with net metering depending on the type of consumers. The same are listed in the table below (Click on the table for a larger view) :

The state is blessed with several natural resources of energy that augments its renewable energy growth. Through its proactive planning on capacity addition front it has successfully managed to eliminate the demand supply deficit. In sync with the solar power policy the Government has also launched the Industrial Policy 2015, through which Government would encourage private participation in all energy generation to meet the growing demands in the state.

The Gujarat power policy document can be accessed here.

The CEA installation and operations of meters regulation 2014 can be accessed  here.

The Industrial Policy document can be accessed here.

REConnect Newsletter Volume 52 (June 2015) – OPEN ACCESS

Dear Reader,

 We are please to present OPEN ACCESS – our monthly newsletter that covers important developments in the renewable energy markets. This month’s newsletter covers:

  • Detailed analysis of the 5th Amendment to REC regulations proposed by CERC. This amendment will have significant impact on renewable energy based CPPs and OA projects, and also on the market demand-supply situation down the road
  • Updates on regulatory changes from Gujarat, Telangana, MP, Mahasrashtra, JERC and Rajasthan
  • Analysis of the REC trading sessions in June. Demand was well below May trading volumes. However, the broad trend remains positive due to the SC order on RPO.

 The newsletter can also be downloaded by clicking here – or past newsletters from here.

We hope you enjoy reading the newsletter. Please send us comments and feedback.


 Team REConnect

MNRE Notifies Year-wise Targets to Achieve the 100GW Solar Capacity

The New and Renewable Energy Ministry (MNRE) has notified a resolution on 6th July, 2015, which defines the Year-wise targets, so as to achieve the 100GW solar Capacity in next 7 years (I.e. by FY 2021-22).

The Ministry has stated that out of total 100GW solar energy target, 40GW solar capacity will be achieved through the Solar Rooftop system installations, while the remaining 60GW will come through medium and large scale grid connected solar power projects including projects in the solar parks.

The Year-wise targets defined to accomplish the targets of 100GW solar power is provided in the graph below:

The resolution also states that the three separate schemes supported by Government of India for capacity 19200 MW with financial allocation of 15050 crore will be launched, and MNRE may issue a detailed action plan for achieving the targets.

The MNRE Resolution can available here.

Madhya Pradesh Proposes Policy for Solar Rooftop

The Madhya Pradesh New & Renewable Energy Department (MPNRED) in its latest notification has proposed a policy for Net Metering based Solar Rooftop systems. The policy will come in force from the date of its notification in the state official gazette. The Office of the Commissioner, New and Renewable Energy department, Govt. of MP will act as the nodal agency.

The main objectives of the policy are the promotion of the decentralized Soar Photo Voltaic (SPV) systems, job creation and reducing carbon emission.

Applicability and Eligibility: All solar photovoltaic technology based rooftop power plants adopting net-metering mechanism shall be covered under this policy. The policy allows all the consumer of the distribution licensee to avail the benefits defined under the policy by installing rooftop systems.

Capacity Cap.: A minimum capacity of 0.5 kW and a maximum capacity of 250 kW, beyond this capacity guideline as per “solar Policy 2012” shall be applicable.

Energy Settlement and accounting: The provisions for energy accounting and commercial arrangements will conform to MPERC Grid Connect Net Metering Regulations, 2014 and subsequent amendments thereof.

Incentives and Tax Exemptions:

1.     The Rooftop systems will be exempted from banking, wheeling, and cross-subsidy surcharges as per MPERC regulation and will also be exempted from payment of Electricity Duty.

2.    The SRPs installed under the policy shall be exempted from property tax and the equipment’s purchased for the installation of Solar Rooftop projects shall be exempted from VAT and entry tax.

3.    All the All Eligible Consumers can avail Central Financial Assistance from MNRE as per the applicable scheme for Solar PV systems.

The more details on the Policy can be read in the document here

JERC for Goa and UT’s Determines Tariff for Solar Projects

The Joint Regulatory Commission for Goa and Union territories (JERC) has determined the solar tariff for ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects. The tariff will be applicable for projects in the State of Goa and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.

A brief summary of the tariff determined by the commission is given in the table below:

The commission has finalized the tariffs based on the amount of subsidies being availed by a generator. For the projects availing higher subsidies (being offered by various institutions and Govt. of India); the tariff offered will be on the lower side and vice versa.

The Commission order can be accessed here

JERC Finalizes Solar Ground Mounted & Solar Rooftop Regulation

The Joint Regulatory Commission for Goa and Union territories (JERC) has notified its final copy of regulation for solar ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects. The notified copy has been published in the official gazette also, so the regulation has already come into force. The regulation will remain in force for a period of three years unless revised or extended by the commission.

Solar Rooftop Regulation:

This regulation will extend to the State of Goa and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.

  • Solar PV and I or Solar Thermal power projects of more than 500 kWp and Rooftop Solar Power projects of more than 1 kWp capacity but less than 500 kWp, rooftop projects with higher capacities can be accepted under stable grid conditions.
  • The rooftop project can be developed under Gross Metering or Net metering mechanism.
  • Third party ownership of the rooftop systems is allowed such generation will be eligible for availing open access.
  • The target capacity for the solar generation would be equal to solar power obligations in the respective territories as per Procurement of Renewable Energy Regulations of the Commission.
  • The Net Metering consumer will receive bills with the difference between imported and exported energy being shown clearly.
  • At the end of each settlement period, a maximum of 100% of the solar energy generated from rooftop system will be adjusted against the energy imported from the distribution system.
  • The settlement period would be six month I.e.  From April to September and October to March.
  • The solar power generators are exempted from payment of any charges towards wheeling, banking, line losses and cross-subsidy to the extent of energy produced.

Solar RPO Applicability

  • Net Metered or Gross Metered Consumer: All energy produced by the solar project (self-consumption and excess) shall be accounted towards RPO of the Discom.
  • Open Access Consumer: In case the OA consumer and the solar power generator both are obligated entities, then only one of two would be able to claim RPO compliance for the solar energy generated.

Eligibility for REC’s

  • Net-metering injection is not eligible for REC.
  • Sale of power to Discom at APPC will be eligible for REC, as per CERC REC regulation 2010 and JERC regulations.

The notified regulation can be accessed here.


PSERC (Punjab) Finalizes Solar Rooftop (Net Metering) Regulation

The Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has recently (on 7th May 2015) finalized the Net Metering Regulation for Grid Interactive Solar Rooftop Systems. The regulation will allow electricity consumers of the state to generate solar energy and to consume such generate energy for their internal use and to feed the remaining surplus solar energy into the distribution system. The regulation will come in force from the date of publication of the same in official gazette.

The main features of the regulation are given in the points below:

  • The solar rooftop system to be installed can be self owned system or a third party owned system.
  • The solar rooftop systems shall be of Min. 1kWp capacity and Max. 1Mwp capacity with or without battery backup.
  •  The Discom shall offer the provision of Net Metering to the consumer who intends to install rooftop systems on first come first serve basis.
  •  A maximum cumulative capacity at a particular distribution transformer shall not exceed 30% of the rated capacity of the distribution transformer.
  • The capacity of an individual rooftop PV system shall not exceed 80% of the sanctioned load of the consumer.
  • The energy accounting and settlement will be done based on the reading of the bidirectional meters.
  • The cost of installation of the bidirectional meters will be borne by the consumer and shall be maintained and installed by distribution licensee.
  • Any energy credits of a consumer from previous months will be carried forward to next billing period and will be set to zero after the settlement period.
  • The electricity generated from solar rooftop systems shall not be more than 90% of the total energy consumption of any consumer in a settlement period. No payment shall be made by the distribution licensee, beyond this limit.
  • The quantum of energy consumed from the rooftop system will be considered towards the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of Distribution licensee if the consumer is not an obligated entity.
  • The rooftop systems shall be exempted from payment of wheeling, banking and cross subsidy surcharge applicable under PSERC (Terms & Conditions for Intra-State Open Access) Regulations, 2011, as amended from time to time.
  • The eligibility for availing benefits of REC mechanism shall be as per CERC REC Regulation 2010.

PSERC earlier notified its draft regulation and invited comments from stake holders and interested parties, following that the commission has finalized the regulation. The regulation seems to be a good sign for development of solar energy in the state as the PEDA (Punjab Energy Development Agency) has already announced its policy for rooftop solar energy systems.

The regulation can be accessed here.

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