OPEN-ACCESS

Blog by Team REConnect

PSERC order on RPO of PSPCL

Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had earlier filed a petition under Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) RPO Regulation 2011, pleading that net shortfall in RPO compliance in FY2013-14, be allowed to be carried forward to FY 2014-15.

The net shortfall of PSPCL RPO compliance was 7.1 % in Non-Solar and a staggering 36.5% in Solar. RPO compliance specified by the commission for FY 2013-14 was, 3.37 % for Non-Solar & 0.13 % for Solar, which PSPCL did not meet. RPO compliance for current FY 2014-15 is 3.81% in Non-Solar and 0.19% in Solar, much higher than previous FY. PSPCL stated several reasons for the shortfall, which the commission reviewed thoroughly.

The commission finally ordered Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) to speed up development of some delayed RE projects, mainly Hydro, which was the main reason for the non-compliance of RPO by PSPCL.

Considering that some of the reasons for the non-compliance were beyond the control of PSERC, it has allowed the net shortfall to be carried forward to FY 2014-15, but has clearly stated that the RPO of FY 2014-15 along with previous year shortfall have to be strictly complied with by 31st December, 2014 or else heavy penalties will be imposed.

The details can be accessed here.

MPERC Amendment in RE Generation Regulation, 2010

Madhya Pradesh Electricity regulatory Commission (MPERC) on 10th September 2014 has ordered amendment for its Cogeneration and Generation of Electricity from Renewable Sources of Energy Regulation 2010. MPERC earlier invited the comments and suggestion and held a public hearing on 9th September 2014.

According to the new amendment the scheduling of Wind power plant with capacities of 10 MW and above and the solar power plants with capacities 5 MW and above shall be mandatory, whereas in principle regulation of 2010 this was missing.

On the other hand, MPERC had proposed 3nd amendment to MPERC (Cogeneration and generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy) Regulations, 2010, in which it wanted to include energy generated from fossil fuel based Co-generation plant under RPO compliance, and exclude such energy generated from availing REC’s. After hearing various stakeholders, MPERC finally decided to drop this amendment with regard to Co-generation, and approved the afore mentioned amendment regarding scheduling of RE power.

Earlier CERC in its order on 06th January 2014(Refer), suspended the RRF mechanism but directed the RE Generators to continue the scheduling and forecasting according to the previous regulation.

The MPERC Draft can be accessed here.

Contributed by Dheeraj Babariya.

UERC releases draft of Open Access Regulations, 2014

The Hon’ble Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission has drafted UERC (Terms and Conditions of Intra-State Open Access) Regulations, 2014. It was notified on 8th September, 2014. Comments for the same are invited till 8th October, 2014. This regulation, after coming into force, will supersede all existing regulations of OA.

Major highlights of this draft regulation are mentioned herewith:

  • Proposal to change the current methodology for settlement of energy
  • Introduction of Intra-State ABT in near future
  • Introduction of slab based method instead of pro-rata method, for calculating transmission and wheeling charges.
  • Proposes to bring limited OA customers and Embedded OA customers on same level.

Key features of the regulations are mentioned below:

The draft, in our opinion, is quite comprehensive and covers all aspects of Open Access, including the detailed procedures of applying for OA and other operational procedures that follow after registration.

UERC has recently passed an RPO order, in which it has taken a tough stand against UPCL, by allowing it to carry forward Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for FY 2012-13 and FY 2013-14, but has directed it to comply with all previous and current RPO’s by end of this year, else heavy penalty will be levied.

The draft regulation can be accessed here.

Punjab Approves Net Metering Policy for Rooftop Solar

Punjab state Govt. has approved the Net Metering Policy for Solar Rooftop systems, a draft for the same has been notified by Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). According to the policy any consumer of electricity of distribution licensee in the state can setup a Rooftop Solar system under net metering provision, which can be owned by him or by a third party.

A brief Analysis is given below:

The new policy has been approved in order to encourage renewable energy generation in the state. Punjab’s commercial and industrial tariff range between 6.5 to 7.50 Rs/unit, whereas the tariff provided for Solar PV is 7.72 Rs/unit (proposed for FY 14-15). This will not put too much cost liability on the DISCOMS in fulfilling their RPO.

Grant of capital subsidies on PV panels and exemption from paying open access charges and losses, will only encourage generators to invest in rooftop systems after the policy is officially released.

The Draft policy can be accessed here.

Our previous blog post on Punjab RE tariff can be read here.

Contributed by Dheeraj Babariya.

DERC Finalizes Net Metering Regulations, 2014

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) in its notification dated 2nd Sep 2014, has announced net metering regulations for Renewable Energy, which will in turn allow many households and organizations in Delhi to generate and supply power to the grid and avail the benefits of units supplied in their electricity bills.

A brief summary of the Regulation is given in table below:

The new regulation is definitely a major initiative taken by DERC to promote the Solar Energy Generation in the state. It will help DISCOM’s to fulfill their RPO, which they were not able to meet in the previous years.

In a state like Delhi, this policy may bring positive changes, where the tariff for non-domestic consumers varies between 7-8 Rs. Per unit, such consumers may come forward and avail the benefits of the new regulation.

The tariffs for procuring power has not been defined yet, but it is expected to come out soon. When that happens, consumers will be able to determine viability of the projects.

The Net Metering Regulation can be accessed here.

Our previous blog post on DERC Tariff hike can be read here.

Contributed by Chetan Adhikari.

Rajasthan Drafts Solar Policy 2014

Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL), in its notification dated 08th August 2014, has presented the draft of its Solar Policy 2014. It will supersede the earlier Solar Policy of 2011. The new policy aims to develop the Rajasthan as global hub for solar power.

A comprehensive Analysis of the proposed solar policy 2014 is below:

The policy also lays emphasis on the development of Solar Parks of MW capacity scale, with the government ready to invest up to 26% equity in the Joint Venture projects with capacity of 1000MW or more. This presents a good opportunity for private investments in building large scale projects.

Rajasthan is an ideal state for development of solar power projects i.e. it receives highest solar radiation in the country, with barren lands aplenty. Overall the state has proposed a comprehensive policy in order to encourage the booming solar sector. Rajasthan has a total installed capacity of 666 MW of Solar Power as of Jan 2014. The state has a solar RPO of 1.50%, which is among the highest in India.

The solar energy generated for sale will not be covered under the scheduling procedure of Intra-state ABT. The commission had invited comments and suggestion by 16th Aug 2014, the result of which will reflect in the final policy document.

The draft policy can be accessed here.

Our previous blogpost on Rajasthan Solar Tariff for 2014-15, can be read here.

Contributed by Dheeraj Babariya.

APERC Proposes Draft Amendment for RPO Regulation

Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC), joint commission for the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, has proposed separate drafts for the amendment in its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) Regulation 2012, for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The summary of the proposed amendments for the both the states is as below:

  1. According to the proposed draft, the commission proposed to remove the .25% solar purchase obligation for distribution licensee & captive generating plants out of the total of 5% RPO, and has proposed that RPO shall be fulfilled by purchase of any renewable source of energy.
  2. The commission has proposed that the Lapsed Banked Energy (Renewable) as according to Open Access regulation 2006 shall be considered towards the RPO of the distribution licensee.
  3. Consumption from captive co-generation power plant, is exempted for levy of RPO.

The commission has also proposed changes in eligibility of and registration for REC’s, which are highlighted below –

  1. The power generating plant shall be of 1 MW and above capacity for obtaining accreditation from the state agency.
  2. A roof top or ground mounted solar power plant of 100 kW and above, shall be eligible for obtaining RECs for the entire generation from such plant.
  3. The entire electricity generated from Captive Power Plant & Co-Generation Plants based on Renewable Sources of Energy, including self-consumption shall be eligible for issue of REC’s.
  4. In case of pre-mature termination of the power purchase agreement (PPA) with a consumer or DISCOM, a generator will not be eligible for REC’s for three years, starting from the date of termination of the agreement.

The proposed draft will directly affect the solar power generators as the Solar RPO has been merged with Non-solar RPO in the state. In our opinion, since the floor price of solar REC’s are much higher, the obligated entities will not purchase solar REC at all.

In contrast to Tamil Nadu, which has moved to Supreme Court, with a clear objective of implementing Solar Purchase Obligation (SPO) of 6% in the state, APERC does not seem to be in favour of incentivising solar power by having separate RPO status for solar in the two states. In addition to this, the cap of 1 MW on Non-Solar and 100 KW on Solar projects, will only deter smaller projects from coming up in future.

The commission through separate Public notices for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, has invited the comments and suggestions by 08th September 2014.

The Draft Proposed for Andhra Pradesh can be accessed here

The Draft Proposed for Telangana can be accessed here

Contributed by Dheeraj Babariya

 

TN Govt. Approaches Supreme Court against APTEL Order

Tamil Nadu Government has filed a petition in Supreme Court against the order of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) dated 21st January 2014. The order says that state government cannot specify solar power obligation (SPO) for special category of consumers (applicable for all obligated entities except TANGEDCO), when there already exists Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for the consumers in the state.

Background – The Govt. of Tamil Nadu drafted its solar policy (announced in 2012), mandating certain consumer to buy solar power, which was finalized by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) in its order dated 7th March 2013. The order stated that – “As prescribed in the Solar Policy, 6% SPO starting with 3% SPO till December 2013 and 6% from January 2014 is applicable”.

The Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association appealed to APTEL for the removal of the Solar Purchase Obligation as RPO does mandate purchase of solar power.

The APTEL in its judgment said that the state commission cannot impose any other obligation such as SPO, as RPO already exists in the state. So the State Govt. has moved to the Supreme Court challenging this , as it clearly intends to impose SPO under its Solar Policy.

It is also worth noting that TNERC has mandated RE purchase to a total of 9% under its RPO regulation, which is one of the highest in India, with 0.05% Solar RPO and 8.95% Non-Solar RPO. The commission in its draft RPO Regulation 2014, has increased the solar RPO to 2% and total to 11%, to bolster Solar Power in the state in case SPO is not implemented.

Our Previous Blog Post on the same matter can be read here.

The recent media Article can be read here.

Preceding APTEL Order is available here.

Contributed by Dheeraj Babariya.

GERC Takes Strict Note on RPO Compliance

Gujarat Electricity Regulatory commission (GERC), has initiated the Suo-Motu proceedings to verify the RPO compliance by the distribution licensees of the state. The Petition has been notified on 11th August 2014, and comments and suggestion have been invited by 30th August 2014 through public Notice. The public hearing will take place on 06th September 2014.

The commission has initiated the Suo-Motu proceedings in response of a petition filed by Torrent Power limited, in which it requested the commission to revise the minimum target of RPO percentage for FY 13-14, to the actual level of compliance achieved by him.

The commission has said that, based on the data furnished by the DISCOM’s it has been observed that the DISCOM’s have complied with the RPO target partially. So the commission has asked DISCOM’s to submit the reasons for their non-compliance of RPO.

In its judgment, the commission gave the reference of a Judgment of honorable APTEL dated 25.04.2014, which can be read as -

“After completion of the financial year, the State Commission has to review the actual performance in respect of RPO and pass necessary direction as per the Regulation either suo-motu or on a petition filed by a party. Such review should be subjected to public notice to invite suggestions and objections of all the stakeholders. Thus, in separate proceeding for annual review of RPO or otherwise by the State Commission either suo-motu or on application from a party, the suggestions and objections of the public should be invited. Accordingly, directed for future.”

The commission may take strict action, if the DISCOMs don’t furnish genuine reasons for their non-compliance.

The GERC Sou-Motu petition can be accessed here

The GERC order on Torrent Power petition can be read here

Contributed by Dheeraj Babariya.

REConnect Newsletter Volume 43 – OPEN ACCESS

Dear Reader,

We are pleased to present Open Access Vol 43 – our monthly newsletter covering RECs and regulatory and market developments in the renewable energy space.

The main article covers:

The government announced the re-introduction of Accelerated Deprecaition for wind projects. This was a major announcement for the Renewable energy industry. Our main article provides a detailed analysis of the impact of this change, and the relative merits and de-merits of investing in wind or solar projects.

This issue also covers:

- Details of the next batch of bidding for solar projects announced in JNNSM

- Details of the FOR meeting that took up the need for strong RPO enforcement

- Various other regulatory developments in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Karnataka, and other states

Past newsletters can be accessed here - http://www.reconnectenergy.com/newsletter/past-newsletters/

For latest news and updates, please visit our blog at – http://reconnectenergy.com/blog/

 As always, we will love to hear your feedback on the newsletter.

- Team REConnect