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TNERC dismiss TANGEDCO's rooftop solar petition and promote clean energy in Tamil Nadu

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Dear Chairman - TNERC, Independent Member - TNERC, Technical Member - TNERC,

I am a resident of Tamil Nadu and I am a proud supporter of renewable and clean energy. I have seen my friends and acquaintances put up rooftop solar panels. They are proud to contribute to a cleaner and pollution free Tamil Nadu.

I learnt that all these positive efforts came to take place when Tamil Nadu announced its progressive Solar Policy in 2012. The Policy is very good as it had introduced a system called net meters that monitors my consumption and also enables me to sell the excess power generated to TANGEDCO on the basis of power credits. (Please refer  Tamil Nadu Solar Energy Policy 2012)

To ensure that, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC), the agency which fixes our electricity prices, has also given good regulations for net-metering affirming the same. (Please refer Order on LT Connectivity and Net-metering, in regard to Tamil Nadu Solar Policy 2012)

I was taken by surprise when I was suddenly told that Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO) is bringing forward a regressive petition that will crash their dreams. 

In particular, TANGEDCO is seeking to curb our freedom given under the policy of installing rooftop solar. The petition is titled "Proposal for adopting revised accounting methodology in the existing net metering scheme approved by TNERC Order No.3 dated 13.11.2013 for the eligible 5 categories of Low Tension (LT) consumers so as to promote more solar Roof top systems in the state to achieve the target fixed by GoI". The document is available here - TANGEDCO Rooftop Solar Petition

The TANGEDCO petition has announced regressive measures and wants to stop us from installing rooftop solar in our homes. It impedes citizens like me who may want to shift towards environment friendly green energy technologies.

The features of the petition are:

  • TANGEDCO is seeking to change the system of power credits given in the Tamil Nadu Solar Policy 2012. As a result, it is going against the Solar Policy of 2012 by proposing an alternative approach. This is not allowed.
  • There is abysmally low payment to compensate me when I sell excess power to TANGEDCO. I will be paid only 50% of any future price of any price paid to big solar plants. But people like Adani Solar Power Plant are being paid Rs. 7.01 per unit for next 25 years, while we may be paid only Rs. 2.00 per unit in the near future.
  • TANGEDCO wants their approach to be applied for existing consumers as well. This is unfair to my friends who have already invested money on  rooftop solar based on the Solar Policy 2012. To now,  all of a sudden, subject them to new pricing is against all norm.
  • I will not be allowed to put up rooftop solar panel with capacity of more than 50% of what I usually consume. This effectively means if I usually consume 1,000 units in a month, I can only put a rooftop solar of monthly generation capacity of 500 units.
  • There is no equity in payment between TANGEDCO and myself. I must pay my electricity bills on time but TANGEDCO prefers to pay me cumulatively at the end of the year for the total power that I sell to them.
  • TANGEDCO is proposing a solar tax. This is something that only the Government of Tamil Nadu can decide.
  • TANGEDCO is imposing abnormal physical requirements in the name of solar generation meter. What will happen is that I will find it impossible to adhere to the physical requirements. 

I am submitting my petition objecting to the TANGEDCO Rooftop Solar Petition and requesting you  to dismiss the petition as it would bring an end to rooftop solar installations in Tamil Nadu, the state that has been a pioneer in the field and released the first solar policy in India.



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