KERC announces a revised tariff order for rooftop solar plants for domestic consumers

KERC has recently announced an order for the “revision of tariff in respect of new Solar Rooftop Photovoltaic Units of 1kW to 10kW capacity installed by domestic consumers”. The government of Karnataka has set a target of 2400 MW of grid-connected rooftop generation projects under its solar policy 2014-2021. As of August 2018, Karnataka’s installed capacity for both ground-mounted and rooftop solar capacity is 5179 MW. Out of the total installed capacity, only 145 MW is solar rooftop photovoltaic plants (SRTPV) units have been installed & commissioned. Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) the Commission had issued a Discussion Paper in the matter of revision of tariff in respect of new Solar Rooftop Photovoltaic Units of 1kW to 10kW capacity installed by domestic consumers, on 09.09.2018, inviting comments/suggestions from the stakeholders.

One of the reasons for the poor response for installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic plants by the domestic consumers may be the low Feed-In Tariff (FIT) fixed by the Commission as compared to the relatively higher capital cost of smaller capacity SRTPV units. Hence, the Commission was of the considered view that there is a need to promote smaller capacity solar rooftop power plants by the domestic consumers in order to achieve the desired capacity addition of SRTPV plants in the State.

Post the comments and suggestions, the commission has made some changes as below:

  • The CUF is retained to be 19% % even for 1 kW to 10 kW capacity SRTPV Plants from the 16% CUF earlier.
  • The capital cost for SRPTV plants of 1 kW to 10 kW is decided to be INR 48,000/kW.
  • The generic tariff for grid-connected new Solar Rooftop Photovoltaic Units of 1kW to 10kW capacity installed by domestic consumers at INR.4.15 only per unit (without capital subsidy) and at INR.3.08 only per unit (with capital subsidy).
  • The above-mentioned changes will be applicable to new plants with commissioning date on or after 19.12.2018.

REC trade result – December 2018

The december trading session saw a good price discovery for both solar & non-solar RECs. The market saw a significant price hike in solar as compared to last month. The demand for both solar & non-solar remained consistent while the supply remained limited. As we approach the year-end, the obligated entities are in the process to comply with their obligations and hence the higher demand in order to not face any penalties for non-compliance. However, the highlight of this month’s trade was that solar crossed the floor price of INR 1,000 and reached at INR 1500 at PXIL and INR 1450 at IEX.

Non-Solar: This session the RECs were traded at the price of INR 1255 at PXIL (25.5% above the floor price) and INR 1320 at IEX (32% above the floor price). A total of 3,82,400 RECs were traded in this session leaving an inventory of 21,52,097 Non-Solar RECs. (However, a significant portion of these do not participate in trading as they would either be owned by Discom’s or are for self-retention).

Solar: Total number of solar RECs traded in this session was 1,77,247 (201% increase from the last months’ trade). The clearing ratio was 100% at PXIL & 100% at IEX respectively (w.r.t floor price). RECs traded at the floor price, i.e. INR 1500 at PXIL (50% above the floor price) and at Rs 1450 at IEX (45% above the floor price).

The overall trade volume (5,59,647 RECs) increased by almost 10.65% from the last months’ trade volume (5,05,738 RECs).

DERC announces draft guidelines for group and virtual net metering

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) announced the draft guidelines under the draft guidelines under DERC (Net Metering for Renewable Energy) Regulations, 2014 for implementation of Group Net Metering and Virtual Net Metering Framework under Delhi Solar Policy 2016. The comments & suggestions on guidelines are accepted till 1st January 2019.

The key points of the guidelines are as below:

  • Group net metering: Group Net Metering is an arrangement where the surplus energy exported to the grid from a solar plant at the location of the solar plant can be adjusted in any other (one or more) electricity service connection(s) of the consumer within the NCT of Delhi, provided these connections are in the same DISCOM territory.
  • Virtual net metering: Virtual Net Metering is an arrangement to give access to the Solar Net Metering facility for consumers who do not have a suitable roof for installing a solar system (e.g. residential consumers who live in apartments, consumers with shaded rooftops) there will be the facility of Virtual Net Metering.
  • In the initial phase, only the government entities will be applicable for utilizing Group and Virtual net metering.
  • The provisions for providing land space shall be governed as per provisions Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (Supply Code and Performance Standards) Regulations, 2017 as amended & Orders issued under these Regulations from time to time.

Framework for group net metering:

  • Distribution Licensees shall facilitate Group Net metering, whereby surplus energy exported to the grid from a solar plant at the location of the solar plant can be adjusted in any other (one or more) electricity service connection(s) of the consumer within the same distribution licensee area.
  • Smart meters shall be installed at Generation point(s) and the cost shall be borne
    by the distribution licensee
  • The Distribution Licensee shall show, separately, the energy units exported, the energy units imported, the net energy units billed and/or the energy units carried forward, if any, to the consumer in their bill for the respective billing period.

Framework for Virtual net metering:

  • Consumer(s) can collectively own a solar system under the arrangement of virtual net metering.
  • The adjustment of energy generated from solar plant shall be credited in the electricity bill of each participating consumer on the basis of the share of beneficial ownership in the solar plant at the time of application for connectivity under Virtual Net Metering framework.
  • Under Virtual Net Metering, there is no restriction on intra DISCOM or inter DISCOM transfer of surplus energy as per Delhi Solar policy, 2016. Therefore, in case of inter DISCOM transfer of power due to the physical location of either of Generation plant or Consumer in different DISCOM area, normative distribution losses on account of the transfer of power shall be borne by the consumer.

SECI to come up with 750 MW capacity solar power projects in Rajasthan

SECI has announced an RfS for setting up of 750 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power projects in Rajasthan. The land, connectivity & long-term open access shall be the scope of the developer. The tender is a “Build-Own-Operate” (BOO) basis where SECI will enter into a Power Purchase Agreement with the successful bidders for a period of 25 years. The power produced through the project is decided to be sold to Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (RUVNL). The summary of the RfS is as below:

 

Document

Charges

RfS document
  • INR 29,500/- (Indian Rupees Twenty-Nine Thousand Five Hundred Only) including GST
Processing fee
  • Rs. 3 Lakh +18% GST for each Project from 10 MW up to 40 MW capacity
  • Rs. 5 Lakh + 18% GST for each Project from 50 MW up to 90 MW capacity
  • Rs. 10 Lakh + 18% GST for each Project from 100 MW and above capacity
Total available capacity 750 MW
Minimum capacity Minimum individual capacities of 10 MW, and shall be set up in multiples of 10 MW.
Commissioning period
  • For project capacity (1-240 MW): Scheduled Commissioning Date (SCD) shall be the date as on 21 months from the effective date of the PPA
  • For project capacity (250 MW and above): the SCD for the Project shall be the date as on 24 months of the effective date of the PPA
Processing fee
  • Rs. 3 Lakh +18% GST for each Project from 10 MW up to 40 MW capacity
  • Rs. 5 Lakh + 18% GST for each Project from 50 MW up to 90 MW capacity
  • Rs. 10 Lakh + 18% GST for each Project from 100 MW and above capacity
Earnest Money deposit Amount: INR 10,00,000/- (Indian Rupees Ten Lacs) per MW per Project to be submitted in the form of Bank Guarantee along with the Response to RfS
Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) Bidders selected by SECI based on this RfS shall submit Performance Guarantee for a value @ INR 20 Lakh/ MW within 30 days of issuance of Letter of Intent (LoI) or before signing of PPA, whichever is earlier.
Ceiling tariff INR 2.93/ kWh for 25 years.

SECI has issued this RfS in line with the Ministry of Power (MoP) issued “Guidelines for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding Process for Procurement of Power from Grid Connected Solar PV Power Projects” since August 2017.

CERC announces draft (Deviation Settlement Mechanism and related matters) (Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2018

The CERC has announced the draft (fourth) amendments of Deviation Settlement Mechanism & related matters regulations. The principal regulations came into effect in January 2014 followed by three amendments in December 2014, August 2015 and May 2016 in that order. The previous amendments were notified to solve issues related to grid operations the Deviation Settlement Mechanism (DSM) impact with respect to frequency due to emerging markets. The latest amendments talk about the limitations of the DSM price vector and recommendation for the same.  According to the report prepared by an expert group consisting of representatives from CEA, POSOCO, CTU, and CERC suggestive measures have been given for bringing power system operation closer to the National Reference Frequency.

As per the report, the present DSM has design limitations and since the rates are designed by CERC the changing of rates takes time under the regulatory process and does not catch up with the change in prices in other market segments. The present DSM rates at 50 Hz (178 paise/unit) are linked to the variable charges of a pit-head thermal station whereas the highest DSM rate (824 paise/unit) is linked to the variable charges of the costliest generator (liquid fired). Ideally, the DSM price should capture the Value of Lost Load (VoLL) so that utilities procure adequately in advance so as to meet their universal service obligations.

Few amendments from the draft document are as below:

  • The definition of Area Clearing Price (ACP) & Day Ahead Market (DAM) is included in order to connect ACP & DAM to the DSM prices by considering the factor geography & transmission congestion.
  • The reference frequency band (49.85 Hz to 50.05 Hz) is proposed for the purpose of DSM price vector from the previous frequency band of (49.70 Hz and above).
  • The maximum ceiling limit applicable for average daily ACP discovered in the DAM segment of power exchange at 50.00 Hz is proposed to be 800 Paisa/kWh from 824 Paisa/kWh
  • The Day-ahead market price of the Power Exchange having a market share of 80% or more in energy terms on a daily basis is proposed to be taken into consideration for linking to the DSM price vector. If there is no single Power Exchange having a market share of 80% or more, the weighted average day-ahead price is proposed to be used for linking to the DSM price.
  • It is proposed to link the cap rates for generators using coal/lignite/ APM gas to the energy charges as billed for the previous month is proposed.
  • Reduction in the number of time blocks (from 12 to 6-time blocks) for a change of sign in case of sustained deviation in one direction is proposed.
  • Levy of an additional surcharge of 20% on the daily base DSM payable/receivable in case of violation of the stipulation regarding the change in sign.
  • It is proposed that the total deviation from schedule during a day should not be in excess of 3% of the total schedule for the drawee entities and 1% for the generators and in case of violation 20% of the daily base DSM payable/receivable be levied.

MNRE announces a public procurement order gives preference to Make in India

In order to encourage ‘Make in India’ and to promote the manufacturing and production of goods & services in India, the Government has issued a public procurement order with preference to make in India. The order intends to enhance the income flow & employment in the country. The eligible parties for the order include all the ministries /departments of the Government of India, along with any autonomous bodies controlled by the Government of India (GoI). The order is specifically for procurement of renewable energy components, the details of which are as below:

Renewable energy technology List of products covered under the order (preference make in India) Minimum percentage of local content required in renewable energy products
Small hydropower Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as turbines, generators, penstock, pipelines, control panel, governors, cables, valves, transformers, switch gears etc. 80
Wind power Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as gearbox, blades, rotor, generator, tower, bearings, yaw mechanism components etc 80 (Besides hub and nacelle assembly/manufacturing facility should be in India)
Off-grid/decentralized solar power Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as solar street lights, solar home lighting systems, solar power packs/microgrid, solar water pumps, inverters etc. 70
Grid-connected solar power projects Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as solar PV modules & other components such as inverters etc. Solar modules – 100

Other components like inverters etc. – 40

Biomass gasifier Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as biomass gasifier reactor, feed hopper. 80
Biomass co-generation Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as boiler & its auxiliaries like ESP, turbine generators & its auxiliaries etc. 80
Municipal solid waste projects Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as boiler, flue gas cleaning system, grab crane system, waste processing system, leachate treatment plant etc. 60
Waste to Energy (Biomass/Bio-CNG) Apart from civil construction, preference shall be provided in Central Ministries/Department and Central PSUs to domestically manufactured/produced products such as feed mixer tank, mixing agitation feeding pump, digester tank etc. 80

 

  • Products/items related to renewable energy research & development shall be exempted from the current order. Any kind of electricity or end product generated from these RE products under this order can be utilized for captive/non-commercial purposes only.
  • Self-verification of the local content is required from the supplier during the tender/bidding. In case the procurement value crosses INR 10 crores, the local supplier will be needed to provide a certificate from the certified auditors.
  • False declaration of any kind can lead to a suspension for up to two years as per general financial rules.
  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will be the nodal agency for all the activities related to the order.

MNRE amends the land allotment clause in the solar park projects guidelines

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently announced amendments in two guidelines for setting up a grid-connected solar PV power projects for 2000 MW and 5000 MW along with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for Batch III & Batch IV, Phase II NSM respectively. The amendments are as below:

Guidelines for setting up a grid-connected solar PV power projects for 2000 MW along with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for Batch III  Phase II NSM

Guidelines for setting up a grid-connected solar PV power projects for 5000 MW along with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for Batch IV  Phase II NSM

The amendments are assumed to have come into existence due to the slow interest in the tenders due to lack of land allotments and the financial issues related to it. Currently, around 7% of the total installed capacity is from solar. But lately, the solar installations have taken a back seat due to issues like anti-dumping tariffs, and confusion in the GST rate.

INR 2.67/unit tariff discovered for hybrid wind-solar 1.2 GW tender

The maiden tender for ISTS-connected hybrid wind-solar projects discovered an L1 tariff of INR 2.67/unit recently. The tender postponed six times in the past, due to lack of interest and the capacity was also reduced to 1.2 GW from 1.5 GW previously. The recent tender attracted two bidders who successfully bid for the hybrid projects:

These were the only two firms to participate in the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) tender for 1,200 MW of wind-solar hybrid units. The two companies had offered 1,050 MW capacity in total. Due to several issues surfacing in the first tender of its kind, the last date for bid submission had been postponed six times.

The tender saw such a low response due to the low ceiling tariff for the tender. Initially, the ceiling tariff was fixed at INR 2.90/unit but was later reduced to INR 2.60/unit post directions from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Currently, the market derived tariff for solar found in India is `2.42/unit and for wind energy, the lowest price discovered is Rs 2.43/unit.

The hybrid policy was launched in May,  with an objective to provide a framework for promoting large grid-connected wind and solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. Along with this, it aims to help reduce the inconsistency in the renewable power generation and in turn achieve better grid stability.

MSEDCL announces RfS for 1000 MW solar projects at INR 2.80/unit ceiling tariff

MSEDCL has announced a Request for Selection (RfS) document for the purchase of 1000 MW power for a long-term basis through a competitive bidding process. The summary of the document is as follows:

  • The project is introduced in order to meet the future power requirements and fulfill the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of MSEDCL. The successful bidders will be eligible to fiscal incentives like Accelerated Depreciation, concessional customs & excise duties.
  • In case of import of energy in case if intra-state projects the HT industry tariff will be applicable while selling the power to MSEDCL as per the MERC regulations and in case of inter-state projects, all the transmission charges and losses up to delivery point shall be to the account of the successful bidder.

Maharashtra has recently been very active in introducing new schemes for solar PV plants. The state recently tendered 1GW capacity of solar projects to be developed under the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Vahini Yojana.

 

MNRE proposes amendments in the biomass co-generation policy

MNRE has been working towards supporting biomass-based cogeneration projects in the country and had introduced a scheme for the same in May 2018. The scheme provides CFA of INR 25 Lakhs/MW for bagasse cogeneration projects and INR 50 Lakh/MW for non-bagasse cogeneration projects.

Recently MNRE has made two amendments in clause 5 & 6 of the scheme to provide more financial support to the projects. The changes are as follows:

Apart from this, The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) has rejected two petitions filed by owners of bagasse-based cogeneration projects against the imposition of cross-subsidy surcharge for self-consumption of power in Madhya Pradesh.

The petitioners Shri Durga Khandsari Sugar Mills and Narmada Sugar Private Limited had approached MPERC to not impose cross-subsidy on self-consumption of the electricity from its own bagasse-based cogenerating stations. However, both the plaintiffs were selling the majority of its generated electricty via open access and less than 51% was being self-consumed. Hence, the commission was of the opinion that whole power supplied by the cogeneration plants of the petitioners will be treated as if the power is supplied by a generating company.

MNRE has also invited an Expression of Interest (EOI) for tapping the potential of biomass and bagasse co-generation in the country as of October 2018, to promote the source of energy.

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