An Overview of Behind-the-Meter Solar-Plus-Storage Program Design: With Considerations for India

Owen Zinaman, Thomas Bowen, Alexandra Aznar

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Indian consumers have been deploying behind-the-meter generation (predominantly diesel backup, and, more recently, photovoltaic) and storage systems (predominantly lead-acid and other kinds of batteries as uninterrupted power supplies) by the millions for decades) to address reliability issues within the Indian power system. The same energy storage systems could provide additional services to the consumer and distribution companies if properly regulated and designed from the outset to be grid interactive. Grid-connected distributed solar PV (DPV), or rooftop solar, has also seen wide deployment in India and features prominently in the Government of India’s plans for a transition to clean, reliable, and affordable energy for all. At the same time, many utilities and state governments, as well as the central government in India are currently funding-constrained for both operational and future capital expenditures in the power sector, and some perceive customer-sited resources as exacerbating existing financial challenges. In that context, behind-the-meter energy storage systems paired with distributed photovoltaic (DPV)—with the capability to act as both generation and load—represent a potentially unique and disruptive power sector technology capable of providing a range of important services to customers, utilities, and the broader power system in India. This report aims to offer a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to designing customer programs based on experience in the United States that can help regulators, utilities, and policymakers in India manage the range of challenges and opportunities that increased behind-the-meter energy storage deployment will bring to the power system, in particular when these systems are paired with DPV.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages108
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-74131


  • battery
  • behind-the-meter storage
  • distributed energy resources
  • distributed solar
  • DPV
  • grid codes
  • India
  • interconnection processes
  • PV+storage
  • regulation
  • regulatory design
  • regulatory issues
  • retail tariff design
  • storage-plus-solar


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