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Question :   What is a Solar Rooftop System?
Answer :   In a solar rooftop system, the solar panels are installed in the roof of any residential,institutional, social, Government, commercial, industrial buildings etc.. This can be of two types
(i) Solar Rooftop System with storage facility using battery, and
(ii) Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System.
Question :   What is a Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System?
Answer :   In grid connected rooftop or small SPV system, the DC power generated from SPV panel is converted to AC power using power conditioning unit/Inverter and is fed to the grid either of 440/220 Volt three/single phase line or of 33 kV/11 kV three phase lines depending on the capacity of the system installed at residential, institution/commercial establishment and the regulatory framework specified for respective States. These systems generate power during the day time which is utilized by powering captive loads and feed excess power to the grid as long as grid is available. In case, where solar power is not sufficient due to cloud cover etc., the captive loads are served by drawing balance power from the grid.
Question :   What are the main components?
Answer :  
  • Solar PV Modules/Solar Panels – The Solar PV modules/Solar Panels convert solar energy to electrical energy. They are available in different technologies such as crystalline, thin film, CIGS, CdTe, HIT, etc. Crystalline Solar PV panels are most common in use on roof tops.
  • Inverter – Inverter converts DC output of Solar PV panels into AC power.
  • Mounting structure – The mounting structure, is the support structure that holds the Solar PV panels
  • Balance of System – These consist of cables, switchboards, junction boxes, meters, structures, tracking system (if required), earthing system ,circuit breaker,fuses etc.
Question :   What are the models for implementation of Rooftop PV systems?
Answer :   CAPEX Model : Here, the entire system is owned by the rooftop owners and he bears the cost of the Soalr system. Responsibility of O&M for the system lifetime (25 years) is also with the rooftop owner. Developer is responsible for installing the system and initial 2 years O&M and five years warranty.
RESCO Model : Here, the entire system is owned by the developer. Responsibility of O&M for the system lifetime (say about 25 years) is also with the developer. Rooftop owners may consume the electricity generated, for which they have to pay a pre-decided tariff on a monthly basis. Excess generation may be exported to the grid, subject to availability of requisite state regulations.
Question :   Which model is best for me?
Answer :   For consumers that have adequate manpower/expertise for O&M, rooftop access concerns,availability of funds upfront, CAPEX model is better. Consumers in states that have net-metering regulations can take benefit of the same in case they have substantial excess generation.
On the other hand, consumers who prefer not to take responsibility for the system O&M, do not have rooftop security concerns and prefer to pay on a monthly basis rather than bulk upfront payment may choose to go for RESCO model.
Question :   What is net-metering?
Answer :   The grid connected rooftop system can work on net metering basis wherein the beneficiary pays to the utility on net meter reading basis only. Alternatively two meters can also be installed to measure the export and import of power separately. The mechanism based on gross metering at mutually agreed tariff can also be adopted.
Question :   Where such plants can be installed?
Answer :   Such rooftop systems can be installed at the roofs of residential, commercial complex, housing societies, community centers, government organizations, private institutions, industries, etc.
Question :   What are the other fiscal incentives are available for Solar Rooftop Systems?
Answer :   There are provisions of concessional subsidy which differentiate between states for Non-for-Profit organizations and accelerated depreciation for commercial buildings/industries for setting up of grid connected rooftop power plants.
Question :   What efforts Government is making to providing loans for solar rooftop systems?
Answer :   Department of Financial services has instructed to all Public Sector Banks to encourage home loan/ home improvement loan seekers to install rooftop solar PV plants and include cost of system in their home loan proposals. So far, 9 PSB's namely Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, State Bank of India, Dena Bank , Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank have given instructions to extend loan for Grid Interactive Rooftop Solar PV Plants as home loan/ home improvement loan.
Question :   What is the size of grid connected rooftop solar system?
Answer :   The on-grid solar rooftop systems from 1 kWp up to 1,000 KWp or in combination can be set up on the roofs.
Question :   How much roof area is required to set up the grid connected rooftop solar system?
Answer :   Approximately, 10 sq. mtrs. or 100 sq. feet area is required to set up 1 kWp grid connected rooftop solar system.
Question :   What are the advantages of Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar System?
Answer :   Advantages as follows:
  • Attractive recovery/payback period of 4 years
  • Solar is cheaper than your conventional electricity bills
  • Clean, quiet and very low operations and maintenance
  • Long life (25 years)
  • Earn by selling your surplus produced electricity to the government.
  • Save taxes through Accelerated Depreciation Benefit of 40% in the first year.
  • Abundant & Free source of electricity
  • Solar Power creates employment and economic growth of the country
  • Reduce use of fossil fuels, hence reduction in environmental degradation
  • Reduce heat trap in your home
Question :   What is the potential available in India?
Answer :   According to a study conducted by TERI, a potential of 748 GWp SPV plants has been estimated in the country. This can be achieved through active supports from the States.
Question :   What is Net metering?
Answer :   Net Metering is an agreement that allows Solar P.V. system owner to sell excess solar energy to the Distribution Company or buy deficit energy from Distribution Company using a meter to track this energy exchange.
Question :   What are requirements from State to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
Answer :  
  • States should have conducive solar policy to allow the grid connectivity.
  • State Regulators have issued tariff order for appropriate tariff, net-metering/feed-in tariff and the grid connectivity, and
  • The Distribution Companies agree to allow grid connectivity and purchase the electricity on feed-in-tariff or through net metering arrangement.
Question :   How many States have policies to promote grid-connected rooftop solar systems?
Answer :   As of date, 30 Indian States and UTs in India have implemented the policy to support “Grid Connected” Solar Plants have notified policies that include promotion of grid connected rooftop solar systems with net metering. Regulation from the State Electricity Regulatory Commission is also required to allow net metering/ feed-in-tariff.
Question :   What is the gross potential of solar power in the country?
Answer :   India is endowed with vast solar energy potential. About 5,000 trillion kWh per year energy is incident over India's land area with most parts receiving 3-5 kWh per sq. m per day. Based upon the availability of land and solar radiation, the potential of solar power in the country has been assessed to be 748 GWp.

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