RERC announces draft (first amendment) Net metering regulations 2018 for rooftop & small solar grid interactive system.

Rajasthan Electricity Regulation Commission (RERC) has recently notified the draft (first amendment) of net metering regulations, 2018 for rooftop & small solar grid interactive system in Rajasthan. The pilot net metering regulations came in 2015, after that this is the first amendment proposed by the commission. Since the first regulations, the feed-in tariff for solar PV has reduced drastically even lower than feed-in-tariff determined by the Commission for such projects. However, the Rajasthan commission is of the opinion that the tariff determined through auctions for Mega power projects cannot be made applicable for Rooftop solar PV projects which are of the kilowatt capacities (max.1000 kW) due to the higher capital cost of such rooftop projects.

The current amendment also talks about the excess electricity generated by the rooftop generator in the regulation clause 10(3) as follows:

“ Provided that in the event the electricity injected exceeds the electricity consumed during the billing period, such excess injected electricity above 50 units shall be paid by the Distribution Licensee at its Average Power Purchase Cost of the previous year. Provided further that Commission may review the above rate through an order as and when required. Net energy credits less than 50 units under Net Metering achieved in the particular billing period shall be adjusted in the next billing period till credit of 50 units is achieved.”

The regulation will come into effect after the date of notification in the official gazette.

Rajasthan commission has also released a discussion paper recently suggesting that the DISCOMs should purchase green energy directly instead of buying the electricity component form the RE projects.

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.

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.

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.

 

MPUVNL announces new decentralized solar policy and rooftop solar tariff reaches at INR 1.38/kWh

  • Madhya Pradesh Govt. recently introduced a decentralized solar policy to encourage the development of the decentralized RE projects and applications in the state. The policy allows decentralized RE systems of the following types:
  1. Grid-connected RE systems:
  • Category I: On Net-metering basis
  • Category II: Gross metering with wheeling and banking
  • Category III: For consumption within premises with no export of power (Reduction in the base load during the day)
  • Off-Grid RE systems
  • The policy also encourages Net-metering RE systems under the categories mentioned above. The system capacity for both grid-connected and off-grid is of 2 MW. Bulk consumers who are single point consumers are also eligible under the policy.
  • The maximum permissible capacity of the RE systems for all the Net-metered RE systems connected to a particular distribution transformer of the licensee’s grid shall be equal to the rated capacity of the said distribution transformer w.r.to MPERC Net metering regulations 2015.
  • In case the cumulative capacity of the proposed RE system exceeds, it is the distribution transformers responsibility to provide the infrastructure to accommodate the proposed capacity.
  • In the case of an LT Net metered consumer, the RE beneficiary will not bear the cost of the augmentation of the infrastructure, whereas, in case of the HT consumer, the infrastructure will be upgraded by the distribution licensee at the cost of the consumer.
  • In case installation of the decentralized renewable energy system for low tension (LT) consumer requires system augmentation, such as replacement of existing distribution transformer (DT) with a DT of higher capacity, the entire cost related to augmentation for the interconnection of the renewable energy system with the network of the DISCOM will be borne by the DISCOM. The DISCOM can claim it as part of the ARR filing.
  • Excess or surplus energy remaining banked with the distribution licensee at the end of the year will be settled at an Average Pooled Power Purchase Cost (APPC).
  • Ways to implement the RE projects under RESCO include:
  • Build Own Operate Maintain (BOOM): RESCO will Build, own and operate the system for its lifetime period and supply power to the consumer for the lifetime agreement. RESCO will uninstall the infrastructure once the lifetime period is over and build the roof in the same condition.
  • Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT): RESCO will finance, develop own and supply power to the consumer from the RE system for the lifetime period under the agreement. Post the agreement period, the system will be transferred to the RE consumer as per the agreement, wherein the consumer can assign the RESCO for the O&M maintenance under the suitable agreement between both the parties.
  • Incentives on various charges are as follows: Open access to be available to all RE systems specified in the MPERC open access regulations 2015, Wheeling charges will be available to all RE systems as specified in the MPERC regulations. Further, Govt. of MP will provide a grant of 4% in terms of energy injected and the balance if any, shall be borne by the RE consumer.
  • Cross-subsidy is exempted for RE system under this policy and net metered systems are exempted from banking charges & wheeling charges as per MPERC regulation 2015. However, Category II, III and Off-Grid systems ate not exempted from the above-mentioned charges.
  • Electricty duty will not be applicable to the producer of renewable energy beneficiary, consumer, licensee for supply, sale or consumption of RE from generating systems installed under this policy for a period of 10 years from the date of start of supply.
  • Consumers connected at LT level will be exempted from electricty duty for a lifetime of the RE system.
  • The installation of the RE system on the premises of the RE beneficiary will not be considered in the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and will be provided additional FAR for construction in the premises according to the capacity proposed as per the regulations by Urban Development & Housing Dept. Govt. of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Energy consumed from net-metered renewable energy system by a non-obligated entity qualifies towards renewable purchase obligation (RPO) compliance of the concerned distribution company (DISCOM). The DISCOM does not need to pay for such power.

In addition to the policy, in a new auction for the rooftop RE system, a new tariff of INR 1.38/kWh was discovered for the 35 kW rooftop capacity. The tariff has reduced more than the last discovered tariff for rooftop capacity auction at INR 1.58/kWh.

Lowest ever tariff of Rs.1.58 discovered at RESCO model tender in Madhya Pradesh

The latest tariff discovered for rooftop solar at Power Grid Corporation in Madhya Pradesh is INR 1.58 kWh/unit. This is the lowest tariff discovered so far in the country. AMPSOLAR, a New-Delhi based company bid for the lowest tariff for putting rooftop solar plants on the 10 government buildings. The highest tariff of INR 4.3 kWh/unit was by Renew solar for a private company. The tender auctioned under the RESCO model attracted 31 international as well as domestic developers who oversubscribed the 35 MWp tender capacity by 630%. The project will get a subsidy from MNRE of 20% and 25% from the state government.

In a RESCO model, the Bidders intend to use a Premise owned/used by the Procurer and enters into the PPA with Procurer for the supply of solar power as per RFP.

List of bidders and tariff is as below:

Establishments Tariff  (KwH/unit)
Municipal buildings Rs 1.69
Medical colleges Rs 1.74
Police establishments Rs 2.33
Government engineering colleges, ITIs, and polytechnics Rs 2.35
private institutions Rs 2.28

“The solar rooftop sector has been struggling with issues like the significant upfront cost for individual consumers and lack of enabling the framework for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to develop a scalable business model. The bid results for 35 MWp Solar Rooftop tender are testimony to numerous policy, contractual and procedural innovations deployed in the RESCO programme to find solutions to these gaps,” said Manu Srivastava, principal secretary, renewable energy, in the Madhya Pradesh government.

Read the corrigendum document and detail list of bidders here.

GOA RELEASES SOLAR POLICY 2017

Goa Energy Development Agency (GEDA) has approved the solar policy for the year 2017.

The policy has been approved five months after the draft policy was released and shall be applicable form the date of notification up to 7 years whereas the PPA’s signed under this policy shall be valid for the period of the agreement. Under REC mechanism, solar power plants shall be set up and the power generated by them shall be sold to GED at the average power purchase cost.

Development of solar projects for sale of electricity to third party as well as GED shall be promoted by the state. The producer will have to pay the wheeling charges as per the rates determined by JERC. The state government shall reserve the right to procure 10% of the power so generated.

The prosumer/developer shall be given subsidy received from the Government of India as per MNRE guidelines and the state government shall grant 50% of the capital cost/ benchmark cost provided by MNRE, whichever is lower, for solar plants of upto 100 kW size. Role of department of electricity, Goa is to provide banking facility for solar energy, conduct feasibility study for evacuation facility, etc.

Time frame for implementation of project for solar projects beyond 100 kW capacity through reverse bidding:

 

 

The policy can be accessed here.

MNRE ROLLS OUT CLEAN ENERGY TRAJECTORY, PLANS TO ADD 100 MW SOLAR AND WIND CONTRACTS

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), in order to fulfill its target of installing 175 GW renewable energy in the country by 2022, is planning to award 100 GW of solar and wind contracts by March 2020. Solar power shall form 75 GW of the total awarded power in the country.  To achieve 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, the state and central ministries shall work together to lay bids for ground-mounted solar parks for 20 GW. Following is the plan suggested by the MNRE for solar capacity addition:

 

 

The Government plans to complete the bid process by March 2020 to give the developers time to build these projects. The MNRE also plans to set up solar projects for farmers. Such projects would involve setting up of small solar plants on fallow land and solarizing water pumps. There have been talks about setting up 20 GW solar manufacturing capacity, 5-10 GW floating solar power projects and 10 GW hybrid solar-wind power systems.

 

The article can be accessed here.

MNRE’s RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGETS AMBITIOUS AND UNATTAINABLE WITHOUT COOPERATION FROM STATE GOVERNMENTS

As reported by The Hindu the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set the targets for solar and wind capacity additions for this year to 12,000 MW and 4,000 MW respectively. This comes as a surprise since the achievement till October for the same has been 1750 MW and 1502 MW respectively. Although these targets are ambitious, they are achievable as per the industrial players only if the lack of seriousness shown by the state government towards promotion of renewable energy decreases.

As per the article, the state governments are not on board. All the energy producers face a plethora of problems such as high prices and cross subsidy surcharges (CSS). Also, some state authorities such as that of Maharashtra make it more difficult for the private producers to sell electricity. States such as Tamil Nadu allow net metering only for individual houses and not for educational institutes and factories. This goes against the intentions of the Government of India to see 40,000 MW of rooftop plants by 2020.

Co-founder and director of REConnect Energy Solutions, Vishal Pandya, made the following observation about the scenario “Whether it is open access or rooftop or enforcement of renewable purchase obligations, the intent on the part of the state machineries seems completely missing”.

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.

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