Residential rooftop solar: Govt simplifies installation procedure

New Delhi: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a simplified procedure for the residential consumers to get the rooftop solar plant installed by themselves or through any vendor of their choice under the Rooftop Solar Programme. Earlier, Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy RK Singh has given the directions to simplifying the schemed. Under the new norms, it is not necessary for any household to get a solar rooftop installed by any listed vendor.

Households may also install solar rooftop by themselves or get the rooftop installed by any vendor of their choice, and inform the distribution company about the installation along with a photograph of the system which has been installed.

According to the new simplified procedure, a national portal for registering applications from the beneficiary, approval thereof and tracking progress will be developed. There will be a portal in a similar format at the level of the DISCOMs and both the portal will be linked. Those who wish to install Rooftop Solar (RTS) under the new mechanism will apply on the national portal. The beneficiary will be required to submit necessary information including details of the bank account where the subsidy amount will be transferred. At the time of application, the beneficiary will be informed about the complete process and subsidy amount that can be availed for the installation of the RTS plant.

From the portal, the application will be forwarded online to the concerned DISCOM for issuance of technical feasibility approval within the next 15 working days. After the application is transferred to the DISCOM it will also be displayed on the DISCOM portal.

After obtaining technical feasibility, the beneficiary will install the RTS plant from any vendor of his choice by selecting solar modules fulfilling the conditions of DCR and enlistment under ALMM and inverters which are certified by J3IS. The list of empanelled vendors will be provided on the portal. In order to ensure quality and post-installation services, MNRE will issue standards and specifications for the RTS plant and a format of an agreement to be executed between the beneficiary and the vendor. The agreement among other terms and conditions will have the provision to ensure that the RTS plant installed meets safety and performance standards and that the vendor would maintain the plant for the next five years or higher period as per terms of the agreement.

The beneficiary has to install its plant within a specified period otherwise his application will be cancelled and he has to re-apply for installation of the RTS plant. Upon installation of RTS plant, the beneficiary will apply for net-metering on the national portal, which will be forwarded online to the concerned DISCOM. The concerned DISCOM will either procure and install the net-meter or it will advise the beneficiary to procure the net-meter as per prescribed specifications and get it tested from the DISCOM authorized lab. The decision of the DISCOM will be posted on the portal.

After installation of the net-meter, the DISCOM officer will submit a commissioning and inspection report on the national portal, which will also be reflected on the DISCOM portal. On receiving the inspection report, the subsidy will be released directly in the bank account of the beneficiary by DISCOM.

It is expected that the national portal will be developed in about six to eight weeks. Till the national portal comes into operation, the existing procedure for availing subsidy for installation of the rooftop solar plant through DISCOMs will continue and will be the only authorized procedure to avail subsidy from MNRE. After the National portal is set up, the beneficiary will have the choice of installing RTS availing either of the options.

The general public may be advised not to trust any misleading/spurious information being published on websites/social media particularly asking for registration fee or other payment for getting Government of India subsidy for installation of rooftop solar plants. Authentic information in this regard will be made available on the official website of Ministry or on SPIN portal.

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