Punjab Regulatory takes Strict note on RPO complaince of PSPCL

The PSERC (Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission) in response to a petition filed by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) pertaining to RPO compliance of FY 2014-15, in which the PSPCL has requested before the commission for carrying forward the compliance of RPO to next financial year (FY 2015-16).

Earlier the commission provided carry forward to the PCPCL for unmet RPO of FY 13-14 to FY 14-15 which were be met along with the RPO for FY 2014-15. PSPCL in its petition provided the status of its RPO compliance for FY 14-15 including for FY 2013-14, which is given in the table below:

PSPCL in its petition for carry forward of RPO cited various reasons for non-compliance of RPO. The reasons cited by PSERC were:

  1. Delay in the commissioning of the Project during FY 14-15.
  2. Financial constraints to purchase RECs.
  3. And also stated that it was due to factors beyond control of PSPCL and RPO targets being set by the commission are unachievable.

PEDA in its submission stated that PSPCL misconstrued the RPO targets fixed by commission, as RPO targets can be met through alternate channels and not only by way of RE purchases.

The commission in its order stated that it does not accept that the RPO targets were unachievable and that the shortfall in compliance was not out of control. The commission also stated that it does not accept the argument of alleged financial constraints of PSPCL and its inability to purchase RECs.

The commission also cited the APTEL Judgment which has issued directions to State Electricity Regulatory Commissions and Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission to enforce RPO, and Thus the Commissions are bound to enforce their respective RPO Regulations.

The commission in its judgement has provided the carry forward to FY 15-16 and has taken strict not for the Non-compliance of the RPO, directing the PSPCL to comply with the RPO obligations latest by 30th Dec 2015 and communicated that failing which further action as per Regulations may be initiated.

PSERC (Punjab) Finalizes Solar Rooftop (Net Metering) Regulation

The Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has recently (on 7th May 2015) finalized the Net Metering Regulation for Grid Interactive Solar Rooftop Systems. The regulation will allow electricity consumers of the state to generate solar energy and to consume such generate energy for their internal use and to feed the remaining surplus solar energy into the distribution system. The regulation will come in force from the date of publication of the same in official gazette.

The main features of the regulation are given in the points below:

  • The solar rooftop system to be installed can be self owned system or a third party owned system.
  • The solar rooftop systems shall be of Min. 1kWp capacity and Max. 1Mwp capacity with or without battery backup.
  •  The Discom shall offer the provision of Net Metering to the consumer who intends to install rooftop systems on first come first serve basis.
  •  A maximum cumulative capacity at a particular distribution transformer shall not exceed 30% of the rated capacity of the distribution transformer.
  • The capacity of an individual rooftop PV system shall not exceed 80% of the sanctioned load of the consumer.
  • The energy accounting and settlement will be done based on the reading of the bidirectional meters.
  • The cost of installation of the bidirectional meters will be borne by the consumer and shall be maintained and installed by distribution licensee.
  • Any energy credits of a consumer from previous months will be carried forward to next billing period and will be set to zero after the settlement period.
  • The electricity generated from solar rooftop systems shall not be more than 90% of the total energy consumption of any consumer in a settlement period. No payment shall be made by the distribution licensee, beyond this limit.
  • The quantum of energy consumed from the rooftop system will be considered towards the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of Distribution licensee if the consumer is not an obligated entity.
  • The rooftop systems shall be exempted from payment of wheeling, banking and cross subsidy surcharge applicable under PSERC (Terms & Conditions for Intra-State Open Access) Regulations, 2011, as amended from time to time.
  • The eligibility for availing benefits of REC mechanism shall be as per CERC REC Regulation 2010.

PSERC earlier notified its draft regulation and invited comments from stake holders and interested parties, following that the commission has finalized the regulation. The regulation seems to be a good sign for development of solar energy in the state as the PEDA (Punjab Energy Development Agency) has already announced its policy for rooftop solar energy systems.

The regulation can be accessed here.

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.

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.

Punjab pushes PSPCL for RPO compliance by December’13

Punjab state power corporation limited (PSPCL) has been asked to comply with its stipulated RPO target for FY12, FY13 and FY14 cumulatively. In an order dated 12 August 2013, Punjab regulator allowed PSPCL to carry forward 114.80 non solar MUs and 25.8 solar MUs to FY14, which is the cumulative shortfall for FY12 and FY13.

For the current fiscal (FY14), the Punjab Discom has to purchase around 400,000 RECs and the shortfall of 114800 will eventually entail over 500,000 RECs to be purchased by end of December 2013.

PSPCL/PEDA FY13
in MUs Shortfall (+/-) in MWh RECs required
Non Solar Obligation 114.8 114800 114800
Solar Obligation 25.8 25800 25800
  140.6 140600 140600

With Maharashtra and Delhi also pushing for RPO on similar lines, it is expected that the buy side participation  will improve in the  poorly performing REC market.

For the copy of the order – Click Here

Punjab roll-forwards RPO to next year

PSPCL recently petitioned the Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission to amend its RPO from 2.4% (including 0.03% solar) to 1.65%. This is inline with the extent of RPO achieved in the state (1.67% non-solar and 0.0075% solar). The reasoning behind the request for reduction was that PSPCL suffered due to reduced RE generation (delays and closures of RE facilities), and its efforts to procure RE power from the market did not bear fruit. PEDA supported PSPCL’s petition.

The commission rejected the request [DOC file]. Instead, it allowed PSPCL to carry forward the RPO to next year. PSPCL will now have to meet the shortfall this year in addition to the current year RPO (2.9%).

In our analysis, a few things stand out in the petition:

  • PSPCL did not mention efforts to procure RECs from the market as a step it took to try and meet its RPO
  • The commission did mention it as one of the steps it can consider to meet its RPO in the current year. The order states: ” This carry forward shortfall in RPO compliance during 2011-12 to 2012-13 shall be in addition to the RPO specified in the RPO Regulations for that year, to be made good separately for non-solar and solar power as specified by the Commission, through purchase/generation of electricity from RE Projects on best efforts or in case of non-availability of such electricity, through purchase of RECs from the Power Exchange(s)”
  • It is unclear whether the waiver will also apply to open access and captive consumers. The order is specific to PSPCL, but this may open a way for a carry-forward for open access and captive consumers also

Overall, the order from the commission is in the right direction. Given the nascent stage that REC markets are in, it will be difficult to enforce full penalties due to non-compliance. However, waiver or retrospective change in RPO % would send a wrong signal to the market and obligated entities.

 

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