MNRE issues streamlined protocol of installing rooftop solar plant for the residential consumers

Under its Rooftop Solar Programme, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a streamlined protocol for residential consumers to get a rooftop solar plant built by themselves or via any vendor of their choice.

According to the government’s statement, a national platform will be built for registering beneficiary applications, approvals, and tracking their progress. At the distribution company (discom) level, there will be a portal with a similar structure, and both portals will be linked.

The household beneficiary may apply on the national web portal to install rooftop rolar systems under the new mechanism. The beneficiary will be required to provide relevant information, including the details of the bank account to which the subsidy will be transferred. The beneficiary will be informed of the whole procedure and subsidy amount available for the installation of the plant at the time of application.

Within the following 15 working days, the application will be transmitted online to the relevant discom for technical feasibility approval. The application will be shown on the discom portal once it is transferred to the discom. After determining technical feasibility, the recipient will build the plant from any vendor of his choice, selecting solar modules that meet DCR and ALMM requirements, as well as J3IS-certified inverters. The list of empaneled vendors will be provided on the portal. The MNRE will publish standards and specifications for rooftop solar plants, as well as a type of agreement to be executed between the beneficiary and the vendor, in order to ensure quality and post-installation services.

The beneficiary must build the plant within a certain time frame, or the application will be cancelled. In addition, the beneficiary will apply for net-metering on the national portal when the plant is installed, and the application will be transmitted electronically to the relevant discom. The concerned discom will either procure and install the net-meter or advise the recipient to procure the net-meter according to the stipulated specifications and have it tested at a discom-approved lab. The discom’s decision will be published on the portal.

The discom officer will submit a commissioning and inspection report on the national portal following the installation of the net-meter, which will be reflected on the discom portal as well. The discom will deposit the subsidy immediately into the beneficiary’s bank account after getting the inspection report. The entire procedure will be monitored, and a grievance resolution system will be implemented.

The national portal is projected to be completed in around six to eight weeks. The present approach for obtaining a subsidy for rooftop solar plant installation through discoms will continue until the national portal is operational, and it will be the only allowed procedure to get a subsidy from the MNRE.