- The state of Karnataka is reported to have allowed domestic consumers, hospitals and educational institutions to sell rooftop solar power 1.5 times of their approved load, under 'gross metering'
- Consumers can sell the maximum allowed power to the grid for a higher tariff, but will be billed under a lower tariff for their own consumption
- Electricity supply companies will buy the solar power for fed into the grid $0.11 per kWh
- Karnataka is reported to be increasing its solar power target from 2,000 MW by 2021 to 7,000 MW by 2022
Soon after the news came for the Indian state of Karnataka planning to revise its solar power target from the existing 2,000 MW to 7,000 by 2021, the state has now allowed domestic consumers, hospitals and educational institutions to sell rooftop solar power 1.5 times of their approved load.
Indian business daily The Economic Times (ET) wrote on May 12, that Escom, the local power supply company will buy the power generated for 7.08 INR per kWh ($0.11).
Now consumers will be billed under a lower tariff, but can sell the maximum allowed power to the grid at a higher tariff, in a process called gross metering. The report quoted P Ravikumar, additional chief secretary in the Energy Department of the state, as saying, “Earlier, the government paid 9.56 INR per unit ($0.14) under net metering, but people did not show much interest. This policy, however, is advantageous to consumers, and we hope to see good response from hospitals, educational institutions and domestic consumers.”
The policymakers had earlier fixed the net metering tariff at 9.56 INR per unit, but most capacity addition took place in non-targeted consumer categories, such as big companies, but the domestic rooftop owners couldn’t get any benefit. The revised gross metering is supposed to be directed at domestic and institutional consumers.
Under the Karnataka Solar Policy 2014-2021, the target was to achieve a number of 2,000 MW of installed solar power capacity by 2021. The target was divided between 1,600 MW of grid connected utility scale solar by 2021 and 400 MW of rooftop solar by 2018. The state government has been mulling revising the same. Now, according to ET, the state is supposed to create 7,000 MW of solar capacity by 2022, and electricity supply companies have already signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with developers for about 6,500 MW of capacity.
However, experts it spoke to believe the state can achieve the targeted 7,000 MW already in the next 2 years, so much ahead of the targeted 2022.