HERC announces a combined order for multiple matters

Haryana Electricity regulatory commission recently announced an order on multiple matters including Suo Motu for amendment and/or modification of HERC (Terms and Conditions of Determination of Tariff from Renewable Energy Sources, Renewable Purchase Obligation and Renewable Energy Certificate) Regulations, 2010 and its subsequent amendments (hereinafter referred to as RE Regulations, 2010). The Commission invited views and comments from the stakeholders and answered to them individually. The order also talks about the following:

Suo-Moto proceedings on RPO compliance

If an Obligated entity fails to comply with the obligation to purchase the required percentage of power from renewable energy sources or the renewable energy certificates, it shall also be liable for penalty as may be decided by the Commission under section 142 of the Act. Provided that in case of genuine difficulty in complying with the renewable purchase obligation because of the limited availability of renewable energy or non-availability of certificates, the obligated entity can approach the Commission for relaxation or carry forward of compliance requirement to the next year. However, in normal circumstances, the renewable purchase obligation shall not be waived off. Provided further that where the Commission has consented in writing on an application made by the obligated entity to carry forward of compliance requirement, the provision of regulation 58 (1) of these regulations or the provision of section 142 of the Act shall not be invoked.

The petition filed by Amplus seeking implementation of exemption or waiver of  wheeling charges, cross-subsidy charges, transmission and distribution charges and surcharge for ground-mounted and rooftop solar power projects

Waivers/concessions shall be applicable till the aggregate installed capacity of 500MW of Solar PV Plants in the State is achieved, where after the Commission shall review the provision of waivers/concessions taking into account the financial impact on the Distribution Licensees. Further, provided that waivers/ concessions once provided to any project shall be applicable for a period of 10 years,

The petition filed by Haryana Power Purchase Centre (HPPC) on behalf of the Haryana Distribution Licensees seeking a relaxation of Renewable Purchase Obligation

The Commission has considered the above submissions and is of the considered view that, after considerable deliberation, the RPO targets have been fixed. Further, even the Discoms have raised the issue of these targets being on the higher side. Further, it has been submitted by the Discoms / HPPC procurement of RE power in the peak hours will not only add to the demand-supply gap but also add to the surplus and backing down of cheaper conventional power putting an avoidable financial burden on the electricity consumers of Haryana. Hence, the Commission finds no reason to change the RPO targets as appearing in the draft Regulations as the same in the considered view of the Commission attempts to balance the interest of all the stakeholders.

Read the complete order here.

Energy Ministers discuss hydro power revival at the bi-annual state power ministers’ conference

Recently at a Pan-India biannual energy ministers meet in Simla, the water scarcity of Simla and woes of power sector were discussed. The host state Simla suggested immediate and long-term reforms in the hydro power sector. Himachal Pradesh’s Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur requested the government to give hydropower similar status as solar power.

“For years, the people of Himachal have given their land and labor for the growth of hydro power in the state. They have not been duly compensated till yet even after giving up their river catchment areas and natural resources. The pain of displacement from their ancestral land still exists. We urge the Central agencies to expedite the compensation,” – Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.

He further suggested that “hydro sector needs ‘Hydro Purchase Obligation” for assured take-off of power, medium term sale of hydro power, giving renewable status to hydro is the need of the hour and we urge the Centre to look into these demand.”

In other developments, the draft amendments in the National Tariff Policy 2018 also has a clause suggesting exclusion of Hydro Power and “waste heat gases as a byproduct of industrial process” from RPO calculation. The draft NTP proposes to change the basis of calculation of RPO. It states that consumption from hydropower and from “waste heat gases as a byproduct of industrial process” shall be deducted to calculate RPO.

Further the Union Minister RK Singh suggested of a new hydro policy in the pipeline and said that “All advanced countries are exhausting their hydro capacity. In the past few years, hydro projects have been stalled because of that (protests) and geological challenges. The hydro power (delay in commissioning of projects) then becomes costly.”

The new policy is supposed to have points like:

  • To bring down the capital cost of hydro power projects
  • To discontinue mandatory sale of free power for 10-12 years so that the developers can recover the cost
  • To provide soft loans no longer than 30 years

All these points are in turn supposed to reduce the cost of hydropower projects.

Shimla hosted close to 18 state power ministers, 29 senior officials from 26 states at the conference. Currently, Shimla is facing a major water scarcity and the tourism is also affected due to this. Hydropower and tourism are two major revenue generation activities in the state.

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