Unexpected technical issues have put spanner in the works of KSEB Limited's plans to provide grid connectivity to roof-top solar plants. The plan was to make 13 roof-top solar plants grid-connected by the end of July. KSEB Limited's renewable energy and planning director K Valsalakumari conceded that only one such plant could be connected to the KSEB grid. Sources said that it had become virtually impossible to provide connectivity in most of the cases.
"When the KSEB switches off power in the grid, it has been found that there is a dangerous flow from the solar plant to the grid. When the grid is switched off, now power should flow through it. In other words, the two mechanisms cannot be synchronized in most of the cases," a source said. Even KSEB sources admit that the grid-connectivity technology needs to be fine-tuned.
What's more, KSEB has asked the consumer to purchase the net meter, which is the bi-directional energy meter for measuring the quantam of electricity flowing in opposite directions and the net quantum of electricity consumed by the eligible consumer or injected into the distribution system of the licensee. This costly equipment forms an integral part of the net metering system.
As of now, solar plants installed on household premises are stand-alone systems that come with financial and practical strains. The power generated will have to be consumed real-time and the excess will have to be stored in storage batteries with invertor. Batteries of one kilowatt capacity would cost about Rs 60,000. Since a battery has only a life span of about 4 years, the average cost would work out to around Rs 15,000 a year.
The cost of solar energy only on account of storage battery alone would work out to about Rs 10 per unit. Once connected to the grid, a smooth two-way arrangement is set in motion. All the power generated on the roof top panel will be transferred straight to the public network, making a storage battery redundant.
Source- Deccan Herald