Tamil Nadu announces a draft solar energy policy 2018

TEDA has recently announced the draft solar energy policy 2018. Earlier the state had Tamil Nadu policy 2012 (one of the first solar energy policy in the country.) The state has announced for a vision Tamil Nadu 2030 wherein the solar energy target for the state is of 5,000 MW. Under the targets set by MNRE, TN aims for an installed capacity of 8,884 MW of which (40%) that is 3,553 MW is to come from consumer scale rooftop solar system. Tamil Nadu solar energy Policy 2018 intends to create a framework that enables an accelerated development of solar energy in the state. It also intends to facilitate open access to the public electricity grid of the state and create opportunities for a grid-connected distributed generation of solar power in order to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.

Key points of the draft policy as below:

  • If a DISCOM fails to comply with the RPO mandates, penalties specified by TNERC for such non‐compliance shall be strictly enforced.
  • Solar grid feed-in mechanisms included in the policy are:

 

Solar  energy gross feed-in (utility scale) The solar energy is fed into the grid and sold to the distribution licensee or a third party under the open access facility. In the case of distribution licensees, the solar energy fed into the grid will be purchased by the distribution licensee at the prevailing solar energy tariff as determined by the TNERC or a tariff determined by a bidding process
Solar energy wheeling (utility scale) The solar energy is fed into the grid and credited in one or more service connections of the solar energy producer. Solar energy wheeling will be
applicable to all electricity consumer categories and tariffs and for electricity service connections at any voltage level
Solar energy gross feed-in (consumer scale) The solar energy is fed into the grid and sold to the distribution licensee. An extra energy meter will be installed that records the consumption of energy at the premises to record the energy fed into the grid by the distribution licensee. The energy will be sold to the distribution licensee at the tariff determined under this mechanism can also be sold to a third-party under Open Access.
Solar energy net feed-in The solar energy is used for self-consumption with the surplus, if any, being exported to the grid. A bidirectional service connection energy meter will be installed by the distribution licensee to record the imported and exported energy. The imported energy is debited at the applicable consumer tariff while the exported energy is credited on the basis of a consumer solar energy tariff to be determined by TNERC.
Solar energy group net-metering: To encourage solar plants on rooftops of buildings that cannot consume all of the energy generated locally, there shall be Group Net Metering, whereby surplus energy exported to the grid from a solar plant in excess of 100 percent of imported energy 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 State of Tamil Nadu.
Solar energy virtual net feed-in To give access to the solar net feed-in 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 Feed-In. In Virtual Net Feed-In consumers can be beneficial owners of a part of a collectively owned solar system. All energy produced by a collectively owned solar system will be fed into the grid through an energy meter and the exported energy as recorded by that the meter will be pro rata credited in the electricity bill of each participating consumer on the basis of beneficial ownership.

 

Various solar project implementing models:

 

  • Self-owned: Solar PV system is owned and operated by the building owner/user
  • RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) owned: The Solar PV system is owned and
    operated by a RESCO. The consumer pays the RESCO for the solar generation and makes
    use of the solar energy gross feed-in or net feed-in mechanism.
  • Lease: The consumer leases the solar PV system from a leasing company and makes use of the
    solar energy gross feed-in or net feed-in mechanism.

 

Any person or entity willing to put a solar project needs to abide by the building by-laws and Energy Conservation Building Code Compliance (ECBC). All the public buildings are mandated to meet 30% of their energy requirement from solar energy by 2022.

 

Solar energy imported by the distribution licensee from non-obligated solar energy producers (including electricity consumers with gross or net feed-in facilities) can be claimed by the distribution licensee towards the fulfillment of their renewable energy purchase obligations (RPO).
The Government of Tamil Nadu wishes to promote the manufacturing of solar energy components including solar cells, inverters, mounting structures and batteries in the state. The land will be identified for the development of solar manufacturing. A single window process for all departmental approvals, including a set time limit for each approval, is expected to be designed.
An incentive program will be designed to promote the co-utilization of land for solar energy projects, crop cultivation, and rainwater harvesting.

 

The policy is open for suggestions and comments to individuals, organizations, and institutions till 15th October 2018.

ANALYSIS OF GERC DRAFT REGULATION ON FORECASTING, SCHEDULING, DEVIATION SETTLEMENT OF WIND AND SOLAR GENERATING STATIONS

Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has published draft regulations for forecasting and scheduling for wind and solar projects. Important aspects of the regulation are discussed below.

Earlier Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh had come out with their draft DSM Regulation on Forecasting & Scheduling of Wind & Solar.  So far, Karnataka is the only state that has published final regulations.

The last date for giving comments and suggestions is 16th February 2017.

 

Executive Summary:

  • Forecasting and scheduling will be mandatory for all the wind and solar generators connected to the State grid, including those connected via pooling stations.
  • Error will be calculated on the basis of Available Capacity (AvC), with permissible deviation of ±12% for old wind projects and ±8% for new wind projects (ie, projects commissioned after Jan 2010). Permissible deviation for solar project will be ±7%.
  • Aggregation of more than one pooling station is allowed.
  • Penalty rates are different than those in the model FOR regulations. For wind, the initial penalty is Rs 0.35/unit, increasing to Rs 0.70 and Rs 1.05 per unit in higher penalty bands. For solar, the initial penalty is Rs 0.60/unit, increasing to Rs 1.2 and Rs 1.8 per unit in higher penalty bands.
  • 16 and 8 intraday revisions will be allowed for wind and solar energy respectively (one revision every 1.5 hours). Revisions will be effective starting from 4th time block onwards.
  • Settlement will be done through the “Qualified Coordinating Agency” or QCA. QCA will be treated as a state entity, registered with SLDC.
  • SCADA & Telemetry data is to be mandatorily provided to SLDC by the generators. SLDC shall formulate Data/information exchange requirements and protocols for the same.

 

Detailed Analysis:

GERC has recently come up with draft regulation for forecasting and scheduling and deviation settlement mechanism. The primary objective is twofold: a) facilitate large-scale grid integration of solar and wind generating stations b) maintaining grid stability and security. Highlights of the draft regulation are below:

Applicability:

All Wind & Solar Pooling sub-stations, irrespective of their capacity, commissioning date and connectivity voltage level, have to provide a day-ahead and a three day ahead schedule, and intra-day revisions to a maximum of 16/day for wind and 8/day  for solar energy.

Aggregation of more than one pooling station by the QCA will be allowed.

Error calculation and penalty bands:

  • Payment for generation shall be as per actual generation (this is different from the inter-state regulation, where payment is on the basis of scheduled generation).
  • Error is calculated based on Available Capacity (this is same as in the case of draft regulations of TN, MP, Odisha, Rajasthan and Jharkhand).
  • The deviation slab has been kept as (+/-) 12% for old projects and (+/-) 8% for new projects. The reference date for old and new projects is 30.01.2010.
  • Unlike all other DSM regulations, the absolute error for wind energy generators will be reduced by 1% every year from start of fourth year till subsequent 5 years.
  • At the end of 5th year the absolute error shall become <=7% for old projects and <=3% for new projects in case of wind projects.
  • Similarly in case of solar projects the absolute error shall be reduced by 1% every year from start of the fourth year till subsequent 5 years, reaching the minimum of <=2%.
  • Penalty is calculated at fixed amounts per unit (whereas, for Inter-state it is calculated as a percentage to PPA rate).
  • A tripartite agreement will be formed amongst the Generator, QCA and SLDC, in case the generator fails to pay the deviation charges within specified timeline.
  • Energy accounts shall be prepared by SLDC on 10 day basis.
  • De-pooling shall be done in proportion to available capacity, energy generated in each time block, absolute error of individual generator or any other methodology between QCA & Generators.

 

Detailed Mechanism defined for Deviation Settlement

In case of Intra-State transmission, Penalty Mechanism for wind generating station or pooling station commissioned prior to 30.01.2010

 

 

In case of Intra-State transmission, Penalty Mechanism for wind generating station or pooling station commissioned after to 30.01.2010

In case of Intra-State transmission, penalty mechanism for solar generating station or pooling station

A brief comparison of the draft regulation of the 6 states and the Model Regulation is given in the table below:

 

QCA:

The qualified coordinating agency (QCA) will be required to meet certain eligibility criterion. Briefly, these are:

  • Providing F&S services for more than 2 years
  • Having a net-worth of more than Rs 2.5 crore
  • Have experience of working in different “terrains and regions”
  • QCA should have a well qualified team in-house, including skills of data science, statistics and software development
  • QCA should be using software of a “at least CMMI Level 3 certified” company

 

Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (Renewable Power Purchase Obligation and its Compliance)

The Ministry of Power (MoP) had recently declared the national RPO trajectory.  The order had enlisted the yearly RPO trajectory for both non-solar and solar power purchase from 2016-17 till 2018-19. Following the steps of MoP RPO trajectory, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and now Andhra Pradesh has notified its Renewable Power Purchase Obligation and its Compliance, regulations which will be effective from April 17, 2017.

The regulation will be applicable to:

  • The distribution licensee
  •  Or any person, consuming electricity procured from conventional sources through open access third party sale,
  • Every consumer owning a captive generating plant of installed capacity 1 MW and above and synchronized with the Grid.

 

The table below shows the Minimum Quantum of Purchase in percentage (%) from renewable sources (in terms of energy in kWh) of total consumption:

 

The said obligations will be applicable on total consumption of electricity by an obligated entity, excluding consumption met from hydro electric sources of power.

 

Analysis:

  • RPO to be applied on co-generation power
  • The distribution licensees shall compulsorily procure 100% power produced from all the Waste-to-Energy plants in the State, in the ratio of their procurement of power from all sources.
  • The Consumption from hydro sources to be excluded
  • RPO % is proposed to increase steeply – from 11.50% in 2016-17 to 17% in 2018-19 line with the MoP Trajectory.
  • The graph given below gives a comparison between the MoP recent RPO Trajectory and APERC’s RPO Trajectory

The regulation can be accessed here

Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Intra-state Availability Based Tariff and Deviation Settlement) Regulations, 2016

The Forum of Regulators (FoR) had come up with model regulations for forecasting and scheduling at the intra-state level last year. In line with that Chhattisgarh recently came up with its Intra-state deviation settlement Regulation.

Executive Summary:

  • The regulations will be applicable on all wind and solar generators with individual or combined capacity of 5MW and above that are connected to the state grid
  • Deviation will be calculated on the basis of available capacity

The draft regulations are in-line in every aspect with the model F&S regulations released by FoR earlier. However, the model FoR regulations had proposed a 10% deviation band for new projects and 15% for existing projects. Chhattisgarh has proposed a 10% band for all projects for both Solar and Wind.

Detailed Analysis:

Forum of Regulators have recently come up with model regulation for forecasting and scheduling and deviation settlement mechanism. The primary objective is twofold:

a) Facilitate large-scale grid integration of solar and wind generating stations, and b) maintaining grid stability and security.

Highlights of the regulation are below: –

  • All solar and wind generators connected to State grid have to provide day-ahead and week-ahead schedule – Revisions can be made on a one-and-half hourly basis.
  • Payment for generation shall be as per actual generation (this is different from the inter-state regulation, where payment is on the basis of scheduled generation).
  • The deviation slab has been kept as (+/-) 10% for all generators at Intra-state level.

Settlement calculation or Intra-state sale of power is as follows:

In case of Intra-State transmission, Penalty Mechanism for wind/solar generators:

The regulation can be accessed here.

 

Ministry of Power sets green energy targets for State Discoms

The Ministry of Power has issued guidelines, for long term growth trajectory for RPO of Non solar as well as for Solar. Though the guidelines have been issued, the final targets will be set by each individual state’s electricity regulatory commission (SERC).

In order to achieve the target of 1, 75,000 MW of renewable capacity by March, 2022, MNRE has notified the RPO uniformly for all States/ UTs initially for three years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 as given in the table below:

 

 

State Discoms will have to mandatorily draw at least 2.75% of their total power consumption from solar plants in the current fiscal, according to the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) norms laid down by the power ministry. Considering this proposed regulatory changes and stricter enforcement by states FY2016-17 is expected to bring a good fortune to the REC Market.

 

The article can be accessed here.

Telangana Regulations for connectivity with the Grid and sale of electricity from the Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic

Telangana recently came up with its net metering regulation for connectivity with the Grid and sale of electricity from the Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic. This Regulation will be applicable to the distribution licensee, an eligible consumer and a third party owner of a Roof Top Solar PV System in the state of Telangana.

 

Following are some of the highlights of the regulations:

 

  • An eligible consumer shall install the grid connected Rooftop Solar PV System of the rated capacity as specified in this Regulation.
  • The tariff payable to an eligible consumer under the net-metering shall be the average power purchase cost of a Distribution Licensee.
  • The net metering facility, as far as possible, of an eligible consumer shall be in three phase service.
  • A single phase consumer is also eligible for net metering up to 3 KW.
  • The capacity of a Rooftop Solar PV System to be installed at the premises of an eligible consumer shall not be less than one Kilo Watt peak (1kWp) and a maximum of One (1) MWp.
  • The quantum of electricity consumed by an Eligible Consumer from the Rooftop Solar PV System under the Net Metering Arrangement shall qualify towards his compliance of Solar RPPO, if such Consumer is an Obligated Entity.
  • The quantum of electricity consumed by the Eligible Consumer from the Rooftop Solar PV System under the Net Metering arrangement shall, if such Consumer is not an Obligated Entity, qualify towards meeting the Solar RPPO of the Distribution Licensee.
  • The unadjusted surplus Units of the solar energy purchased by the Distribution Licensee under the provisions of sub-Para 10.3 shall qualify towards meeting its Solar RPPO.
  • The Rooftop Solar PV System under the net metering arrangement, whether self- owned or third party owned installed on the Eligible Consumer’s premises, shall be exempted from Transmission Charge, Transmission Loss, Wheeling Charge, Wheeling Loss, Cross Subsidy Surcharge and Additional Surcharge.
  • The Rooftop Solar PV System Developer shall retain the entire proceeds of CDM benefits in the first year after the date of commercial operation of the generating station.

 

The regulation can be accessed here.

CSERC Determination of Generic Tariff for Renewable Energy for FY 2015-16

The Chhattisgarh Electricity Regulatory Commission came up with its final order on the CSERC (Terms and Conditions for Determination of Renewable Energy (RE) Tariff) Regulations, 2015, (“the RE Tariff Regulations”) on 1st May, 2016. The RE Tariff Regulations specify the Terms and Conditions and the Procedure for determination of Generic Tariff by the Commission. Central Commission has specified capital cost as Rs.619.16 Lakh/MW for wind energy projects for the year 2015-16.The graph below gives a comparison of the RE tariff determined in year 2013-14, 2014-15 to 2015-16 for wind generators.

In the Draft Generic Tariff Order, the normative Capital Cost for the Solar PV power projects for was not declared by CERC and accordingly, the Commission proposed to consider the same Capital Cost of Rs. 605.85 lakh/MW for the Solar PV Projects and Rs. 1200 lakh/MW for Solar Thermal Projects to be commissioned in the period from 1 April, 2015 to 31 March, 2016.

The graph below gives comparison of Generic Tariffs for Solar Projects in the period from 2015– 2016 to the previous years. The tariff has been determined depending on the type of solar project as follows:

The Order can be accessed here.

Maharashtra Published RPO Regulations for FY 2016-17 to FY 2019-20

Maharashtra published RPO regulations covering the period FY 2016-17 to FY 2019-20. The highlights of the regulation are:

 

  • RPO % in FY 2016-17 is 11% in total (10% non-solar and 1% solar). This will increase to 15% by FY 2019-20 (11.5% non-solar and 3.5% solar)

 

  • The regulations are broadly in line with the standard regulations of RPO across various states, except the following clauses:

 

  • RPO is no longer exempt on co-generation power. The Statement of Reasons (SOR) accompanying the regulations refers to the National Tariff Policy as a reason for removing exemption from RPO on co-gen power.

 

  • RPO is applicable only on consumption of conventional power. This is a significant deviation as the Electricity Act/ CERC/ other states require calculation of RPO on “total consumption”. By leaving out RE power from RPO calculation, Maharashtra risks providing double benefit to RE generators – it is possible that a consumer that consumes power from RE sources does not attract RPO provisions and at the same time claims offset of such RE power towards meeting RPO on conventional power.

 

  • RPO is applicable on CPPs with installed capacity of 5MW or more and open access consumers with a contract demand of 5 MVA or more. This will leave out significant open access and captive capacity form the ambit of RPO applicability.

The regulation can be accessed here.

Jharkhand notifies draft open access regulations

Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) notified the draft open access regulations on 1st March, 2016. The prominent features of the regulation are as follows:

  • Validity: Till 31st March, 2020
  • Eligibility to avail Open Access: 1 MW and above (not applicable in case of captive generating plants that is availing Open Access for its own use).
  • Provisions for existing consumers and generating plants availing Open Access: The entities other than the DISCOM that have already been availing open access under some agreement or government policy shall submit details such as capacity utilized, point of injection, point of drawal, duration of availing open access, peak load, average load and other such information to the STU as well as SLDC within a period of 30 days of notification of these regulations.
  • Application procedure for Open Access:

  • Day-ahead Open Access: Application to be received 3 days prior to date of scheduling of power but not later than 1300 hours of the day preceding the scheduling of power.
  • Open Access charges: The entities availing open access have to pay the transmission and wheeling charges, cross-subsidy surcharge, additional surcharge, standby charge, reactive charges and imbalance charges as determined by Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) from time to time.
  • Formation of Coordination Committee: Within a month of the notification of the regulations and comprising a nominee each from the DISCOM, State Transmission Utility (STU), and SLDC. The State Transmission Utility (STU). The coordination committee shall facilitate timely approvals of connectivity and open access applications.
  • Connectivity level: For consumers or generating stations or captive generators, the connectivity level shall be as follows:

  • Procedure for connectivity to intra-state transmission system:

Analysis of Draft Regulations on Forecasting and Scheduling of Wind and Solar Generating Stations at State level in Jharkhand

In the follow-up after the FOR – Model Regulation for the Intra State level projects, JSERC has come out with a Draft Regulation on Forecasting & Scheduling for the Wind & Solar projects at Intra State level in Jharkhand, based on the mechanism suggested in the Model Regulation. Earlier Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, had come out with their DSM Regulation on Forecasting & Scheduling of Wind & Solar.

Executive Summary:

  • The regulation will be applicable till 31st March, 2021, after it comes into effect.
  • Forecasting and scheduling will be mandatory for all Wind & Solar Pooling S/Ss, irrespective of their capacity, commissioning date and connectivity voltage level.
  • Deviations will be calculated on the basis of available capacity.
  • Penalty is a fixed amount beyond the error range (15% in case of projects commissioned before, and 10% for projects that are commissioned after the date of implementation of the regulation.).
  • Settlement will be done through the “Qualified Coordinating Agency” or QCA. However, the draft regulation does not mention anything about “aggregation” beyond the Sub-station level forecast.
  • SCADA & Telemetry data is to be mandatorily provided to SLDC.

Detailed Analysis:

JSERC has recently come up with draft regulation for forecasting and scheduling and deviation settlement mechanism. The primary objective is twofold: a) facilitate large-scale grid integration of solar and wind generating stations even though there are no wind projects, and the potential for wind is negligible b) maintaining grid stability and security. Highlights of the draft regulation are below:

Applicability: All Wind & Solar Pooling S/Ss, irrespective of their capacity, commissioning date and connectivity voltage level, have to provide day-ahead and week-ahead schedule, and intra-day revisions to a maximum of 16 per day.

– Revisions can be made on a one-and-half hourly basis, with prior notice of minimum1 hour for each revision.

– Payment for generation shall be as per actual generation (this is different from the inter-state regulation and the Karnataka draft regulation, where payment is on the basis of scheduled generation).

– Error is calculated based on Available Capacity (this is same as in the case of draft regulations of TN, MP, Odisha & Rajasthan, but different from the Karnataka draft regulation, where error is calculated on the basis of scheduled generation.).

– The deviation slab has been kept as (+/-)15% for existing generators, and (+/-)10% for upcoming projects whose commissioning date lies after the date of implementation of the final regulation.

– Penalty is calculated at fixed amounts per unit (whereas, for Inter-state it is calculated as a percentage to PPA rate).

– RPO accounting can continue as per existing arrangement, and needs no change.

– De-pooling shall be done based on either actual generation or available capacity.

Detailed Mechanism defined for Deviation Settlement

 

This is in line with the FoR Model Regulation, which states like TN, Odisha, MP and Rajasthan have also followed. This will help bring the evenness in the impact on generators, considering that the older RRF regulation had put huge liabilities on generators especially in the low wind season.

The penalty mechanism based on % deviation for all obligated generators:

The draft regulation was notified on 24th March, 2015, and has given time till 11th April, 2016, to submit comments to the Secretary, JSERC.

Other states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Gujarat are expected to follow soon with their draft regulations. A brief comparison of the draft regulation of the 6 states and the Model Regulation, is given in the table below:

Old/New – Refers to Old and New projects, w.r.t. the date of implementation of the final regulation.

TBA – To be announced.

 The regulation can be accessed Here.

 

 

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