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(The article has been updated after MNRE’s clarification on the memo)
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a simplified procedure for installing residential grid-connected rooftop solar systems under its Rooftop Solar Program Phase-II.
The ministry has designed a national portal for the process, which will be launched soon. The process for installing rooftop solar systems, starting from registering the applications to the release of subsidies in residential consumers’ bank accounts after installation and inspection of the plant, can be tracked online on the portal.
The office memorandum followed a recently issued procedure by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, for fund flow under Central Sector programs, including grid-connected rooftop solar program (GCRTS) Phase I and II. Under the new procedure, entities must open a zero-balance savings account in the Bank of Maharashtra for the subsidies to be credited.
Vendors installing such rooftop solar systems will be required to register or empanel themselves with the distribution companies (DISCOMs) to ensure they meet the standards specified by the ministry and maintain the plant for at least five years from installation.
Rooftop solar vendors willing to register themselves with the DISCOMs in the program under the new procedure can submit their application at the division or circle level, along with a performance bank guarantee (PBG) of ₹250,000 (~$3,167), which will be valid for five years.
Vendors will be shortlisted within a month from the submission of the application and will be valid initially for one year. The registration can be renewed yearly.
The DISCOM will notify the registered vendors on its website for information on residential consumers and update the same every month.
The registered vendors must conduct a physical survey to assess the rooftop solar capacity and guide the consumers on the installation process, including the technical and financial aspects. They must also assist the consumers with the necessary approvals and installation of the net meter and facilitate an inspection by the DISCOM.
The ministry clarified that the subsidy available under the new procedure would be the same for all rooftop solar consumers registered on the national portal across the country. The subsidy rates will be notified for each calendar year.
According to an MNRE official Mercom spoke to, the ministry will issue the Central Financial Assistance calculations under the new process after the portal is launched.
Early this year, MNRE issued a simplified procedure for residential consumers to install rooftop solar systems through any vendor under the Rooftop Solar Program.