Aurangabad: The Maharashtra Energy Regulatory Commission (MERC) has done away with the plan to have a compulsory gross metering for solar power generation.
The measure was one of the alleged provisions in the draft regulations that did not find any place in the final regulations declared by the regulatory body.
While the draft regulations had also envisaged an arrangement by which the power supplying companies were entitled to bill the power produced by solar users at allegedly higher rate, this too has been also made consumer-centric now.
TOI had reported the outrage on part of stakeholders about the draft rules. Maharashtra Solar Sanghthan, an umbrella organization of over 1,000 solar system manufacturers from Maharashtra, was up in arms against the MSEDCL over the draft regulations.
“It is a welcome move on part of MERC to do away the compulsory gross metering. The metering will be applicable to only those consumers who have captive generation of over 10 KW. By virtue of the new rules, around 85% small and medium solar power generators, including domestic users, will not fall in the purview of net metering,” Vipul Joisher, a senior functionary of Maharashtra Solar Sanghthan, said.
“We would like to see whether state power companies are ready to buy power from solar roof-top projects and pay for it in time,” he added.
Energy expert Hemant Kapadia of advocacy group Urja Manch said the final regulations in question are consumer-friendly as compared to what was proposed in the draft rules.
“We hope the new regulations will promote solar power generation, which is one of the objectives of the government. The regulator has more or less accepted all our demands, which will benefit the consumers,” he said.
Elaborating on some of the key changes in the policy governing the solar power generation, Kapadia said, “The MERC has increased the processing fees from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. The expenditure on meters will be borne by the consumers and not by the state power utility. Also, consumers who are defaulters towards the payment of electricity bills, will be barred from net metering of solar power,” he said.
Notably, Maharashtra has a target of producing 11,926 MW of solar power by 2022 as part of renewable cumultative power target of 1,75,000 MW to be achieved the country.

News Source:  The Times of India

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