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The Tamil Nadu government introduced net-metering policy for solar installations to selected consumer categories,to motivate and promote solar installations in the state. However, this has not helped in achieving the needed momentum for many reasons.

Firstly, net-metering is not available to many and main power consumers like industries, private schools, colleges, etc.. As a result, interested group who are willing to go solar are stepping aside as they don't see significant savings without net-metering. There are certain technical restrictions for these consumer categories to size the system without net-metering facility.

Secondly, the process of net-metering is tedious and this has also been a hindrance for solar PV installation. The net-metering application has to be submitted to the nodal officer of the local TNEB (no online registration). The officer will visit the site to provide feasibility report which can take up to a week (sometimes 2-3 weeks). After installation the required safety certificates have to be submitted to the TNEB office. After intimation it takes almost 2 weeks for them to replace the existing meter with a solar bi-directional meter.The procedure and delays are always overwhelming to existing clients and they naturally share their unpleasant experience with others.

There are stipulated timelines defined in the state's solar policy to clear the permits and licences, but unfortunately these are not being followed and there's always a loophole to document the delay.

Thirdly, LT-CT based connections which come under the permitted tariffs for solar net-metering cannot be registered for solar net-metering under the available software for TNEB. Even after bringing this to TNEB HQ's notice,no actions have been taken.

Unless these issues are looked into and rectified,the progress for solar deployment in the state is limited and the targets set in the solar policy may not be achievable.

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