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.

Jharkhand Notifies Draft Solar Policy 2015

The Government of Jharkhand has recently notified draft for new solar policy. The new policy will be known as the Jharkhand State Solar Power Policy 2015. The new Policy will be in operation for five (5) years from the date of issuance and will remain operational till modified or superseded by a new policy.

Objectives of the Policy:

The Policy targets to achieve 2500 MW of solar energy by 2020 and with an objective of promoting local manufacturing facilities and generating employment in the state.

Minimum Target: The minimum size of the solar PV power plant at single location shall be 1 MW.  The targets of the policy are elaborated below –

Implementation Plan

1)      Utility Scale Projects:

  • Development of Solar Power Plants for Sale of Electricity to the Distribution Licensee.
  • Generations of Solar Power for Sale of Electricity to Third party or through Open Access.
  • Development of Solar Parks.
  • Development of Solar Power Plants under REC Mechanism.
  • Development of Solar Power Plants on Canals.
  • Development of Solar Power Plants under the schemes announced by Government of India.

 2)      Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants Connected with Electricity System:

  •  Development of Solar Power plants for sale of electricity to the distribution Licensee.
  • Generation and sale of electricity to a person/entity other than distribution licensee via Open Access mode.
  • Generation, Captive Consumption and injection of surplus electricity under Net Energy Metering Mechanism.

3)      Decentralized & Off-Grid Solar ApplicationsThe Government will also promote decentralized and off grid solar applications, to meet the requirements of electricity and thermal energy, as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India.

Incentives Offered:

  • Exemption from the payment of Electricity Duty.
  • Deemed Industry Status will provided.
  • Pollution Clearance.
  • Open Access will be allowed.
  • Exemption from payment of Conversion Charges.
  • Exemption from the payment of VAT & Entry Tax.
  • Exemption from wheeling Charges.
  • Exemption from Distribution Losses.
  • Exemption from payment of Cross Subsidy Surcharge.
  • Banking for 100% of energy during all 12 months of the year.
  • Third Party Sale within or outside the State will be allowed.
  • Must run status for Solar Power Projects.
  • Renewable Energy Certificate (REC).
  • Deemed Public Private Partnership (PPP) Status..
  • Non Agriculture Status for the land where Solar Power Projects will be accorded.

Solar Purchase Obligation (SPO):

1) Solar Procurement Obligation (SPO) will be mandatory for commercial consumers with LT Industrial connection with more than 50 kVa connected load and for all HT & EHT consumers. All such consumers have to procure 4% of their power from solar source.

2) All new domestic buildings having floor area equal to or greater than 3000 sft will have at least 100 kw Solar PV system. In case of Housing Societies, 5% of energy usage should be from solar for common amenities.

3) In the potential categories to be notified like star hotels, hospitals, residential complexes with more than 50 kVA total connected load the use of solar water heating system shall be made mandatory.

Apart from all this the government also intends to promote solar manufacturing and R&D facilities in the state. Incentives to such manufacturing facilities will be provided separately. JREDA will act as Nodal Agency for all projects.

Overall the policy offers good number of incentives to the project developer, in terms of tax relaxations, must run status, exemptions from various charges etc. The policy proposes to increases the solar purchase obligation (SPO) to 4% for the consumers, which is 1% for now (as per JERC orders 2012), it also puts obligation for consumers to use the decentralized solar applications, which appears to be a good approach.

It looks promising and offers a fresh start for the state, which hasn’t seen much of the capacity addition in the solar energy sector. The state is having a total potential of more than 18 GW of solar energy. Out of this potential a target of 2.5GW can be achievable, given that the state government works positively towards it.

The Draft Policy can be accessed here.

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