Solar Power Systems
Grid Connected Solar PV Systems
In grid connected rooftop or small SPV system, the DC power generated from SPV panel is converted to AC power using power conditioning unit and is fed to the grid either of 33 kV/11 kV three phase lines or of 440/220 V three/single phase line depending on the local technical and legal requirements.
These systems generate power during the day time which is utilised by powering captive loads and feed excess power to the grid.
In case, when power generated is not sufficient, the captive loads are served by drawing power from the grid.The concept of rooftop solar is based on the scale of the PV plant rather than the fact whether it is situated on a roof/terrace or not.
Hence, the definition of RTS also includes small solar plant on the ground.
Solar System Business Models
Capex & Resco Business Models
In India principally there are two major business models:
• CAPEX – capital expenditures are provided by the rooftop owner.
• RESCO – capital expenditures are covered by third party.
CAPEX mode is the most common business model for solar deployment in India. In this model the consumer purchases the solar system, by making 100% of the payment upfront or financing the system, often through a bank.
RESCO developer finances, installs, operates and maintains the rooftop solar power plant. The developer signs an agreement with the rooftop owner. The rooftop owners may consume the electricity generated, for which they have to pay a pre-decided tariff to RESCO developer on a monthly basis for the tenure of the agreement.
Net Metering & Gross Metering
Net metering systems are primarily aimed at providing an opportunity to consumers to offset their electricity bills, wherein a single meter records both import of conventional energy from distribution grid and export of solar energy into distribution grid.
Thus, net metering allows the final user to credit produced energy in the grid and is also promoted as a preferred option.
Gross metering systems are aimed at rooftop owners/third party investors who will like to sell energy to the DISCOM by using roofs owned by them or another party.
It is also known as feed-in metering wherein, all the energy generated from the system is exported to the grid and is separately recorded through a different ‘feed-in meter’.
The developer exports the solar energy to the utility at a predetermined feed-in-tariff (FiT) approved by the regulator, and the third party investors/RESCO developers enter into a long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the utility.
Only grid-connected PV systems can be gross-metered.