Open letter to APEPDCL and other DISCOMs anywhere in the world if they are interested

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Information about Open letter to APEPDCL and other DISCOMs anywhere in the world if they...

Published on September 26, 2015

Author: solarsarma


1. 26 September 2015 Dear Nageswara Rao garu, First of all, big thanks for the excellent promotional work your DISCOM has been doing in popularising solar roof top systems in general and the implementation in Vizag as it has been now categorized as Smart City. It's really great to motivate public and get 120 applications for net metering in the last 3days as read in the news paper. As a sincere citizen of Andhra Pradesh and having work experience in more than 20+ countries in this field since 1997, following are my valuable suggestions so as to make AP as No.1 state not only in India but also in the world related solar net or gross metering implementation. 1. Please refer 2015 policy as updated on MNRE website(this policy is the best as on date in my view and need few corrections regarding CEIG approval for above 100 or 150kW systems like it’s done in Tamilnadu and Delhi, etc for which I will write separate letter to APERC) • policy/Andhra_Pradesh_Solar_Policy_2015.pdf • ar%20Power%20Generation%20Net%20Metering.pdf and the guidelines link on APEPDCL website is yet to be updated as per latest policy • Online application is yet to be implemented by DISCOMs in A.P whereas DISCOMs in Karnataka,Tamilnadu and Punjab have already been implemented and can be seen at • Karnataka at and status update at SERVICED-final.pdf • Tamilnadu at group/ and individual/ • Punjab at • Telangana, progress report can be viewed at ReportWEB.jsp • And hence it’s very important for APEPDCL to act swiftly and work on online application and status updates so as to implement the programme effectively. 2. Punjab is No.1 as on date in India and won award for implementing the solar net metering in a big way. We too can become No.1 not only in India but also in the world for which certain measures have to be taken on priority. • Installations can be done by system integrators like it’s happening in Karnataka as standards have been already defined and rate contract by state nodal agency restricts the players and the deposits, fee what they

2. have put in recent EOI is not encouraging small entrepreneur participation and also allowing those who are empanelled in 2014-15 to participate in new rate contract is not all correct as it totally restricts new players to capture the market. In Karnataka, the role of state nodal agency is negligible and their role in Punjab and Tamilnadu is not as bad as in A.P..In Karnataka, DISCOM has been even advising net-meter customers to enter into agreement with system installer so as after sales service, scope of work are clear even by protecting interests of DISCOM in the long run. • We need to evaluate all the solar net meter policies in India as well as abroad and follow the best practices to protect all stakeholders’ interests in the right spirit (Consumer, Seller & Customer Service Provider, DISCOM, etc. The value addition of state nodal agency has to be justified and really felt or else it’s too autocratic 3. Mobile and web application can be developed for a consumer to take an informed decision about choosing optimum capacity of solar roof top system so as his return on investment is better as individual customers currently don’t get depreciation benefit. In this aspect, we need to pursue and get state and central government’s support to extend property tax and income tax benefits (In recent BBMP polls, BJP promised 10% rebate in property tax for solar roof top net meter owners. Here we can take the help of Vizag Mp, Sri.Hari Babu garu for convincing centre to offer income tax benefits for individual customers and seek the help of our dynamic C.M, Sri CBN garu for extending property tax rebate as we all know and have to admit how difficult it is to get subsidy from MNRE and NEDCAP. To develop this application, I can interact with your software vendor with your kind consent and permission as this it-self can give an edge over anybody not only in India but in the world for rapid implementation of solar roof top programme and I am very confident that APEPDCL can even win an award for this application 4. Linking of Aadhar with Electricity Connection can be motivated as consumers bound to go for it as they get amount for what they sell as total/excess power generated by under gross/net-metering system. 5. Single Phase and Three Phase Confusion has to be removed and Punjab and Karnataka have been doing a great job in solving this puzzle even though some issues are there with pumped power from single phase inverters..Germany is role model to just allow 3phase but in our country masses are there with single phase connection and also it’s very difficult to get 3phase solar grid tied inverters below 6kW (Fronius from Austria is the only company which has just launched 3kW 3phase inverter but yet to be tuned for Indian grid as it is designed for 400V AC whereas our specs are 415V AC in 3phase). 6. Last but not the least, dedicated officers/consultant(s) and facilitators have to be established by DISCOMs like it’s just started in BESCOM-can be viewed at and as they play a crucial role to complete the regulatory works of consumers as currently this is a very time consuming for seller and it even takes more than

3. 6months to complete solar roof top system work and to realize his final payment. Facilitators can simplify and expedite the paper work and approvals to be done by consumer and system installer. In fact this point is applicable to all the states as both consumers and sellers have been suffering a lot by running from pillar to post and often leading to legal fights between sellers and buyers 7. Suryamitra Skill Development Programmes have to refined, re-launched as this programme requires establishment of necessary infrastructure at least one by each DISCOM failing which the way it’s proposed to happen now at ANU in association with NEDCAP and NISE with a meager funding of Rs.12Lakhs for 90 days programme can no w here achieve the desired goals as it can no-where prepare ITI technicians on LT and HT panel and line works as described in their syllabus. In this regard, I will write separate communication to MNRE, NISE and SDCI. The current infrastructure can at the most prepare them to install solar panels, battery connections, solar pumps, etc and that too if organizers arrange equipment at the training centre but definitely not to install solar roof top systems- grid interactive with minimum safety norms. 8. Last but not the least in any purchase money to be paid upfront plays a major role in any purchase by a consumer and despite of MNRE and RBI taking serious measures on offering loans for buying solar roof top systems in India, the ground- level reality is no bank except IDBI has some credible record like in Punjab and the scheme can be read at Here also all key stake- holders in Punjab have been pro-actively pursuing with banks to extend loans as upfront cost is high in solar roof top systems. IREDA has to quickly empanel re- finance institutions so as they too can offer loans(which they offer currently to industries or institutions alone) and success story of solar water heaters and solar pumps programmes implemented by them during 1995-2000 through KFSL, Wipro Finance, Tata Finance, etc. can be repeated. Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd can be pursued to launch their soft loans in A.P first as Tata group has been actively working with A.P to develop villages around new state capital through Tata Trust. Looking forward for your detailed response and action plan for which I am ready to come down and spend time with your officials, management, software vendors, banks, etc as I hope you will not make me to file a RTI in this regard as I have strong belief in your professional and improving work culture at APEPDCL. Best Regards, Krishna Ambatipudi

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