Maharashtra DISCOM Asks Staff to Speed Up Rooftop Solar Application Processing
The Chief Engineer noted that an inspection revealed that rooftop applications had been pending for over one or two years
Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has asked all superintending engineers in its operations and maintenance circles to adhere to the prescribed time limits for approving rooftop installation applications.
All superintending engineers were directed to process the rooftop solar applications only through the online portal within the time limit prescribed by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).
The Chief Engineer explained that an inspection of applications for rooftop installations revealed that applications have been pending for more than one or two years. He noted that MERC has previously prescribed stage-wise time limits for processing rooftop project applications in the state all the way to their commissioning stage and that this must be strictly adhered to.
Once an application is approved, it must be communicated to the consumers through an e-mail and an SMS containing the approval number, and the validity of it. Approvals will be valid for six months, and if the rooftop project is not commissioned within this period, it will be canceled.
In January, Mercom reported that the MSEDCL proposed considerable grid support charges for net metering rooftop solar systems with a capacity of over 10 kW. This was believed to be a significant development that could have huge implications on the state’s rooftop solar segment. However, later, the MERC said it has decided to levy any grid support charges to rooftop solar installations until the cumulative rooftop capacity of the state reaches 2 GW.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Maharashtra has around 260 MW of rooftop solar capacity installed in the state, as of June 2020.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued a clarification for the second phase of its rooftop solar program under which distribution companies—or its authorized agencies will invite Expressions of Interest for empaneling the agencies to supply, install, test, and commission rooftop solar systems in residential premises. The ministry has now clarified that all the bidders within the lowest bid price bracket will be empaneled and will provide services to the consumers at the lowest agreed tariff rate.