MNRE Broadens the Definition of ‘Storage’ in its Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy

The Andhra Pradesh government has issued Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy-2018 to encourage energy generation from wind and solar hybrid projects in the state. The state government has set a target to achieve 18,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by the financial year 2021-22, which is 10 percent of the national target.

After the policy comes into effect, it will remain applicable for a period of five years and will remain in force until a new policy is issued. Wind solar hybrid power projects that are commissioned during the operative period will be eligible for the incentives declared under this policy for a period of 10 years from the date of commissioning.

Key Policy Highlights

  • A wind-solar hybrid project will be recognized as hybrid if the rated power capacity of one resource is at least 25 percent of the rated power capacity of other resource.
  • Wind solar hybrid project must achieve a minimum capacity utilization factor (CUF) of 40 percent.
  • Hybrid power generated from the wind-solar hybrid project can be used for captive purpose; sale to third party through open access; sale to the distribution company (DISCOM) either at project specific tariff determined by the APERC or at tariff discovered through transparent bidding process; or sale to the DISCOM at average pooled power cost (APPC) under renewable energy certificate (REC) mechanism.
  • The power procured from the hybrid project will be used for fulfilment of solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) and non-solar RPO.
  • For hybridization of existing wind or solar project, no additional connectivity capacity charges will be levied. Transmission charges will be applicable for the additional transmission access granted.
  • Transmission augmentation required up to the receiving transmission substation will be the responsibility of the project developer.
  • Banking of 100 percent of energy will be permitted during all 12 months of the year, based on the feasibility and prior approval of DISCOMs. Banking charges will be adjusted in kind at the rate of 5 percent of the energy delivered at the point of evacuation. The banking year will be from April to March.
  • Unutilized banked energy will be considered as deemed purchase by DISCOMs at 75 percent of the APPC. Payment for the deemed purchase of unutilized banked energy will be capped to 10 percent of the total banked energy during the applicable year.
  • Generation of electricity from wind-solar hybrid projects will be treated as eligible industry under the programs administered by the industries department, and incentives available to industrial units under such programs will be available to the solar power producers.
  • Must-run status has been accorded to wind-solar hybrid.

Solar and wind power potential in Andhra Pradesh is concentrated in the Rayalaseema belt and studies reveal that their generation profile is complementary to each other.

In May 2018, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced the new wind solar hybrid policy which aims at providing a framework for the expansion of grid-connected wind-solar photovoltaics (PV) hybrid systems in the country.

The main objective of the policy is to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for optimal and efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land, reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability. The policy also aims at encouraging new technologies, methods and way-outs involving combined operation of wind and solar PV projects.

Recently, the state also came with a new solar policy with the aim to promote widespread usage of solar power and targets a minimum total solar power capacity addition of 5,000 MW in the next five years in the state.

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.