VIA MSME Forum organized a webinar on Opportunity to Industries for Installation of Solar Generation Plant In Light Of MERC Regulations recently.
Eminent speakers, R B Goenka, Vice President – VIA said this session is beneficial for industries, which is applicable to all. Under MERC, MSEDCL had filed a petition where banking charges, grid support charges & demand charges, etc were applicable over industries, VIA had strongly opposed it and MERC considered our request, now there are no grid support charges, only banking charges are applicable. The National target of 175 GW by 2022, Maharashtra’s share is around 22 GW. As of 30 June 2019, the installed RE capacity in the State is about 8.8 GW, thereby implying that Maharashtra needs to add RE capacity of around 13 GW in around 3 years. He further informed that the prices of GRPV systems are showing decreasing trends whereas the retail tariff is expected to increase year-on-year. He said at this stage, the promotion of the GRPV system in India should be encouraged due to its commercial attractiveness. More incentives need to be given to Grid-Connected RE installations which will help to boost the capacity installed. Such aggressive RE capacity addition would be possible only if the appropriate policy measures are in place and disseminated to the investors at the earliest.
Dr. Vivek Bhore, Sr Solar Energy Consultant shared basic information on “Solar Energy Power Generation. In context to the concept of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”, the major challenge can be the power tariff rate of Maharashtra Electricity Distribution Company for the industry. The alternate solution to the power source and that can be solar only for Maharashtra, as we have ample of solar radiation available. Other sources of Renewable Energy are not suitable in Maharashtra. He opined that looking at the geographical location, latitude, longitude, weather conditions, seasonal changes in temperature and the wind velocity selection of a proper Solar System is most important for better output throughout the year. The solar grid-tie system consists of a Solar Panel, Inverter, mounting structure, Cable wiring, lightning arrestor, Earthing, and the MSEDCL sanction with a net meter or other options as per the capacity of the system. This system is without battery backup. The system stops power generation whenever there is a power failure from MSEDCL and this is called “ilanding.” He also elaborated the technical details with the participants. The life of the system is 25 years with 1% drop in power output every year. The general payback period is around 4 years. With proper utilization of solar power, the cost of electricity for the industry can be very well reduced to comfortable limits and the business can be in a better profit margin.
Mr. Prasanna Sutaone, Director Windsun Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd shared the Financials analysis of Net Meter Solar Projects from Industry perspective. Maharashtra has announced progressive policies for Solar Rooftop under Net Metering, Net Billing & Behind meter solar plants in the premises of the industries. Industries spend enormous amounts every year on electricity payments. Most times more than half the working capital of the industry is spent on electricity bills. He said the use of idle rooftop can help save more than 50% on electricity bills resulting in more operating profits. During the presentation, he has asked industries to intelligently design the solar system capacity to cater to their needs only. The industries if install solar Rooftop which generates more than 70% electricity internally can get a payback within 3.5 to 4 years considering accelerated depreciation benefits. The average Levelized Cost per unit of generated solar energy is less than Rs. 3 per unit.
D Prasad Rao, Branch Manager – SIDBI, informed about the scheme named “Star” for solar plant installation. SIDBI is also funding project ranging capacity from 25 kV to 500 kV and projects worth 2.5 Cr project can be sanctioned. He said we have a100% finance model, where 25% margin amount is taken by SIDBI as FDR.
Ashok Dharmadhikari, Jt Director of Industries, Nagpur shared details of schemes of Government for a solar system installation on the rooftop. He said as far as power generation is concerned, it comes under the industrial & development regulation act. The industry is defined as manufacturing activity which is covered in the first schedule of the IDR Act, but power generation doesn’t come under this law. As per PSI 2019, there is no specific eligibility for captive power generation under the project, so DIC used to consider such projects as conventional or renewable energy as a part of the project. In PSI 2019 there is a special mention that such projects will not be incentivized, only qualifying mega projects will be considered for incentives. We will have to approach to government to take notional generation & notional payment into consideration while deciding interest subsidy.
Earlier, Girish Deodhar, Chairman – VIA MSME Forum in his opening remarks, welcomed all eminent speakers. He said Atma-nirbhar Bharat theme of our Hon. PM Narendra Modi, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari through numerous webinars appealed to our citizens that for strengthening our economy, we should concentrate on setting up new industries under the following two categories Import substitute project i. e. setting up industries of those products which we were importing from China. Last year China did business with India worth about 100 US billion dollars. Export-oriented projects i.e. setting up industries of those products which China was exporting to other countries of the world. This business in China last year was worth about 3200 US billion dollars. The cost of power in Vidarbha is Rs.9/ unit, if we can bring down this cost to Rs.3 then it will be very helpful for industries. It will also help us to become more competitive.
Suresh Rathi, President – VIA in his welcome address welcomed all the guests speakers and said new regulations have come. VIA Energy Forum has taken various issues with MERC & Government, also during lockdown, we had sent representation to the Government reg increase in power cost, coal cost, and even industries facing a lack of power quality. Now COVID has taught us that we need to take care of our environment.
Dr Suhas Buddhe, Vice President VIA said it was really an enlightening session for all. We feel that we should have such programs on a daily basis. He appreciated the insights shared by all the guest speakers. The session was followed by Q&A session. Program was largely attended by the representatives of industries, energy consultants.