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.

TSERC announces APPC cost for FY 2018-2019

Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) announces its average pooled purchase cost for the year FY 2018-19. The APPC cost of INR 4.097/kWh for FY 17-18 will be continued for this financial year as well. In an order followed by a petition by TSSPDCL and TSNPDCL which had requested the commission to consider the pooled cost of power purchase in FY 2017 – 2018 for FY 2018 – 2019 as per the regulations stated in Electricity Act 2003. The average power purchase pooled cost of INR 4.06/kWh was discovered by both the DISCOMs.

The petitioners were of the opinion that post to the formation of Telangana in 2014 all regulations, decisions, directions or orders issued by the erstwhile APERC were adopted until any of the regulation were altered, repealed or amended under the jurisdiction of the State of Telangana. This also included renewable power purchase obligations (RPPO), for which the commission issued regulations fixing the RPPO to be met by the obligated entities from FY 2018-19 to FY 2021-22.  

To which the commission replied that “Pooled cost of power purchase’ means the weighted average pooled price at which the distribution licensee has purchased electricity in the previous year from all the long-term energy suppliers excluding the purchases based on liquid fuel. Provided that the purchases from traders, short-term purchases and purchases from renewable sources shall not be taken into account while determining pooled cost of power purchase.”

The discoms further stated that policies like the state solar power policy 2015 & industrial policy allow a solar net metering & other incentives to be applicable for 25 years and a customer availing for this mechanism will be paid back at the APPC cost decided by the commission on a yearly basis.

Apart from Telangana, Southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have also recently announced their APPC cost for the FY 2018-2019.

REC trade result – November 2018

This month 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.

Non-Solar: This session the RECs were traded at the price of INR 1260 at PXIL (26.0% above the floor price) and INR 1252 at IEX (25.2% above the floor price). A total of 4,46,861 RECs were traded in this session leaving an inventory of 20,43,871 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 58,877 (368% decrease 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 1051 at PXIL and at Rs 1101 at IEX.

The overall trade volume (5,05,738 RECs) decreased by almost 39.05% from the last months’ trade volume (7,03,256  RECs).

EIB, SBI & YES bank come together for financing RE projects in India

The Europen Investment Bank has confirmed to work along with State Bank of India and Yes Bank on increasing its support in terms of investment to RE projects in India. The EIB has decided to provide investment in the Onshore lending program with SBI. The finance organization has also approved a new credit line with Yes Bank in order to accelerate private investment in the RE sector.

At a recent conference held in New Delhi, the Vice President of EIB confirmed the news of financing the clean energy projects. “Scaling up renewable energy investment is crucial for economic growth, improving access to energy and addressing climate change and support for renewable is a key priority for the European Investment Bank, the EU Bank, here in India. The EIB is pleased to host our first offshore wind investment conference in New Delhi and bring together technical and financial expertise from across India and the European Union’s unique global experience in the sector. We look forward to broadening cooperation with Indian partners to support new renewable energy projects in the months ahead and enabling offshore wind to contribute to clean power generation in the country.” said Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank responsible for Energy and South Asia.

“The European Union and India share a common goal of tackling climate change. India has huge renewable energy resources and harnessing India’s abundant natural resources is crucial for sustainable development. Supporting energy investment is a key focus of the European Union’s India strategy announced this week and my colleagues are working closely with Indian partners to further develop India’s offshore wind sector.  Today’s conference demonstrates the European Union’s firm commitment to support expansion of clean energy in India and as the Bank of the European Union, the European Investment Bank, has a unique technical and financial experience that is already backing transformational renewable energy projects across the country.” said H.E. Tomasz Kozlowski, European Union Ambassador to India.

Several Government officials, policy experts, business leaders and financial professionals associated with the sector attended the conference. EIB has a decent experience in supporting the expansion of offshore wind over the last 15 years and the conference enabled experience from successful offshore wind investment to benefit India. The agreement signed between EIB and SBI includes promoters of onshore wind projects being able to benefit from long-term low-cost financing under a dedicated EUR 600 million renewable energy financing programme already providing support to large-scale solar investment across India.

Ever since the support for climate-related investment became a formal priority in 2010, the EIB has invested over EUR 130 billion globally, supporting more than EUR 600 billion in climate action investment.

UPERC announces draft rooftop photo voltaic solar regulations 2019

Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has recently announced the draft regulation for Rooftop Solar Photo Voltaic 2019. The draft regulations once notified by the Gazette will supersede “UPERC (Rooftop Solar PV Grid Interactive Systems Gross / Net Metering) Regulations, 2015.” The key highlights from the regulations are as below:

  • The maximum peak capacity of the rooftop solar system can’t exceed 100% of the sanctioned load/connected load/ contract load of the consumer.
  • The capacity of the grid-connected rooftop solar PV shall not be less than 1kWp and not more than 2MWp.
  • Eligible consumers can install the system under either gross-metering or net-metering arrangement.
  • For third-party owners entering into a commercial agreement for the rooftop in the premises of the consumers will have to go via a gross-metering method with the DISCOM.
  • The third-party owners entering into commercial or lease agreement for the rooftop in the premises of a group of consumers will have to take the net-metering arrangement with the DISCOM.
  • Any eligible consumer or third-party owner availing gross-metering arrangement will not be allowed to apply for net-metering within the same premise.
  • In order to provide flexibility to rooftop solar power consumer, a provision of mutual sale & purchase of electricity through a peer-to-peer transaction with proper accounting & billing mechanism using blockchain technology to be introduced.
  • Any consumer claiming Accelerated Depreciation benefits on the rooftop solar projects will only be eligible to avail net-metering arrangement.

Apart from the above points, the regulation talks about energy accounting & settlement, meter arrangement, application procedure, and registration processes. The regulation also has attached to it various formats of application forms for the consumers.

 

MNRE proposes draft certification scheme for Indian wind turbines

Recently the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy in consultation with National Institute of Wind Energy Chennai prepared a draft certification scheme incorporating various guidelines under “Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS).” The IWTCS is a consolidation of relevant National & International guidelines. The document also contains various best practices from other countries to ensure the quality of the wind energy projects. The scheme is envisaged to assist & facilitate OEMs, End-users, Utilities, SNAs, developers, IPPs, owners, investors, certification bodies and testing laboratories. The document is open for comments from stakeholders till 5th December 2018.

Wind sector in India is growing at a rapid pace with increased utilization of wind energy for the power development, The modern wind turbines have higher hub heights, larger rotor diameter, higher capacity, and improved CUF along with technological improvements. The IWTCS is a consolidation of relevant National and International Standards (IS/IEC/IEEE), Technical Regulations and requirements issued by Central Electricity Authority (CEA), guidelines issued by MNRE and other international guidelines. The Scheme enlists the guidelines for the benefit of all the stakeholders from concept to lifetime of a wind turbine, including Indian Type Approved Model (ITAM), Indian Type Certification Scheme (ITCS), Wind Farm Project Certification Scheme (WFPCS) and Wind Turbine Safety & Performance Certification Scheme (WTSPCS).

The IWTCS defines certification system guidelines for wind turbines that comprise of Prototype Certification and Type Certification; Project Certification, Failure reporting of installed wind turbines, Safety and Performance assessment and De-commissioning & Safe Disposal of the wind turbine/wind turbine projects installed onshore and offshore. It specifies guidelines for carrying out conformity evaluation of wind turbines and wind farms, with respect to specific standards and other technical requirements, relating to safety, reliability, performance, testing, and interaction with electrical power networks.

The new guidelines are expected to bring better evaluation standards for wind turbines & wind farms in the country in terms of technical requirements, relating to safety, reliability, performance, testing, certification, and interaction with electrical power networks

CERC extends expiry date for RECs due to expire

The CERC had issued an order extending the validity of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) which were to expire between 15th May 2018 – 30th October 2018, up to 30th October 2018. There has now been an extension in the expiry of these RECs till 30th March 2019. A summary of the RECs likely to expire between 31st October 2018 to 31st October 2019.

Since the past year, the shelf life of the RECs has surpassed its expiry life of one year due to high supply but limited demand. Only post-November 2017 there has been a generous market realization of RECs (both solar and non-solar). Des[ite of this and the lack of enforcement there was a petition filed to extend the expiry of the RECs.

From the above inventory, it is evident that 1,83,999 RECs which have been issued prior to 01.04.2017 are due to expire within the next six months. This includes 38,651 Solar RECs and 1,45,348 Non Solar RECs. Hence the Commission is of the view that there is a need to extend the validity of RECs which are due to expire up to 31.03.2019.

The Commission in exercise of Power under Regulation 15 of REC Regulations has extended the validity of RECs which are due to expire between 31st October 2018 and 31st March 2019 up to 30th April 2019. Accordingly, RECs which are due to expire between 31st October 2018 and 31st March 2019 will remain valid up to 30th April 2019.

 

REC trade result – October 2018

This month’s trading saw good participation from the market due to good price realization in non-solar RECs and increased demand for solar REC in the last few months.

Non-Solar: The shortage of Non-solar RECs continues in the current session of October 2018. This session the RECs were traded at the price of INR 1201 at PXIL (16.73% above the base price) and INR 1251 at IEX (20.06% above the floor price). A total of 4,27,305 RECs were traded in this session leaving an inventory of 18,83,673 Non-Solar RECs. (However, a significant portion of these do not participate in trading as they are owned by Discom’s or are for self retention)

Solar: Total number of solar RECs traded in this session was 2,75,951 (82.28% decrease 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 1000 at PXIL and at Rs 1,001 at IEX.

The overall trade volume (7,03,256 RECs) decreased by almost 170% from the last months’ trade volume (19,03,638  RECs). This was due to very high demand for solar RECs last month.

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.

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