Things You Need to Know About Solar Rooftop System

1. What is a Solar Rooftop System?
In a solar rooftop system, the solar panels are installed in the roof of any residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. The cost of rooftop solar grid power depends on existing electricity tariff of your state, consumption of electricity and category of consumer. This can be of two types
(i) Solar Rooftop System with storage facility using battery, and
(ii) Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System.

2. What are the advantages of Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar System?
(i) Electricity generation at the consumption center and hence Savings in transmission and distribution losses
(ii) Low gestation time
(iii) No requirement of additional land
(iv) Improvement of tail-end grid voltages and reduction in system congestion with higher self consumption of solar electricity
(v) Local employment generation

3. How much roof top area is required to install a solar PV system?
Rooftop Solar PV plants require about 12 m2 or 100 sq. ft. of shade-free roof area per kW of plant capacity. The Rooftop plant weighs 30-60 Kg/m2 approximately.

4. How much electricity does a rooftop solar PV system generate?
The amount of electricity generated by a rooftop solar PV plant depends on the location, orientation of the roof, panel efficiency, and ambient temperature. As a rule of thumb, a 1 KW plant will generate minimum 4 KWh (units) of electricity per day on an average in a year.

5. What are the subsidies/capital supports available from the Government?
Subsidies are available from multiple channels for setting up Rooftop PV projects.
Subsidy/Support from Central Government through MNRE:
Capital Subsidy at the rate up to 30% of the benchmark cost for general category states (up to 70% of the benchmark cost for special category states i.e., Eastern States including Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands) is being given in residential, institutional (hospitals, educational institutes, etc.), social sector etc.
Commercial and Industrial sectors will not be eligible for the above mentioned subsidies. Government Institutions including Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) shall not be eligible for subsidy; instead they will be given achievement-linked incentives/awards.
Subsidy/Support from State Government through State Nodal Agencies (SNAs):
Subsidy support is also available in various states. The percentage of subsidy varies according to the state policies

6. What are other fiscal incentives available for Solar Rooftop Systems?
There are provisions of accelerated depreciation and tax holiday for setting up grid connected rooftop power plants.

7. What efforts is the Government making to provide loans for solar rooftop systems?
Department of Financial services has instructed to all Public Sector Banks to encourage home loan/ home improvement loan seekers to install rooftop solar PV plants and include cost of system in their home loan proposals. So far, nine PSBs namely Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, State Bank of India, Dena Bank , Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank have given instructions to extend loan for Grid Interactive Rooftop Solar PV Plants as home loan/ home improvement loan.

8. What is net-metering?
The grid connected rooftop system can work on net metering basis wherein two meters can be installed to measure the generation and consumption of power separately. The excess power generated by the rooftop plant is pumped into the grid and a credit is received for the number of units supplied to the grid against the number of units received from the grid.

9. What is feed-in-tariff?
In feed-in-tariff the Government offers a tariff for purchasing the solar power generated from Rooftop Solar PV plants.

10. Is any approval required for installing a grid connected rooftop solar systems?
Approvals from the local power distribution authorities is primarily required for installing grid connected rooftop solar systems to ensure that the grid infrastructure does not become congested.