Income from rooftop solar panels may fall

COIMBATORE: While the number of people opting for solar-net metering of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has increased from 320 in 2015 to 480 in 2016, income from roof-top solar power panel installation may be reduced by half soon.

According to Tangedco officials, a proposal has been sent to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (Tnerc) seeking separate tariff to be set for the solar power generated by domestic and commercial users who have installed the rooftop solar power panels.

Since the tariff of the solar power generated gets equated with the power supplied by Tangedco, officials said they were facing huge losses. “This is financially not viable for us. We have made huge capital investments and are generating power. But, the consumer is selling the rooftop power at the same rate that we sell it to them,” said T Haldorai, chief engineer, Tangedco in Coimbatore region.

Officials said that this year, 470 applications were cleared for installation of solar-net metering. “There is a huge demand. We hope that consumers accept this. One cannot expect immediate returns. It may take 10 years to get return on investment on the new proposal,” said an engineer.

Currently, power generated by consumers using solar panels is routed to the grid and is compensated with input power. For example, if a consumer uses 500 units from Tangedco and 200 units of solar power is exported to the grid, he will only have to pay for the remaining 300 units of which 100 units is again subsidised by the State government.



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