Difference Between On-Grid and Off-Grid Solar Plants


People often get confused on what type of solar technology to be used. There is a general perception that, solar plants always come with battery backup, to be used when there is no sunlight. But, that's not the case. Here, is a complete know-how on difference between on-grid and off-grid solar plants.

There are two technologies of solar plants which are most widely used in India. These technologies are Grid-Connected or On-Grid Solar Plants and Off-Grid Solar Plants.


These both technologies have their own merits upon which they both are great technologies. The choice of technology should always be based on requirements/needs.

To know the merits of grid-connected or on-grid system, click here.

To know the merits of off-grid system, click here.

To distinguish between these two technologies, a basic comparison is written below.

Grid Connected Solar Power Plants/ On-Grid Solar Power Plants

  • Directly Connected to grid

  • Can both import and export energy from and to the grid respectively

  • Contains no batteries and hence, provides no backup

  • Subsidy and tax benefits from the government are applicable to this type of system

  • A Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) of generally, 25 years is signed with the distribution company

  • Apt for those, living in areas well connected to the utility grid

  • Since there are subsidies and no batteries, this is a cheaper system of the two


Off-Grid Solar Power Plants

  • May or may not be connected to the grid

  • Can only import energy from the grid, in case sunlight is insufficient. It doesn’t export energy to the grid

  • Provides battery backup

  • Subsidy and tax benefits are not provided by the government on this type of system

  • No agreement needs to be done with any authority

  • Apt for those, living in areas where electricity is insufficient/unavailable

  • This system doesn’t have subsidies and contains batteries. So, this system is expensive of the two

We hope, this comparison will serve well in determining the solar technology to opt for.


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