Chhattisgarh Issues Draft Copy of Regulations for Distributed Solar

To facilitate the growth of distributed renewable energy generation systems in the state, the Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) has issued draft regulations for grid-interactive distributed renewable sources.

The draft is up for comments and suggestions up to July 8, 2019. A public hearing will be held on July 11, 2019, before finalizing the regulations.

These regulations will apply to prosumer distributed renewable energy systems (PDRES) owned by a prosumer or renewable energy service company (RESCO) and independent distributed renewable energy system (IDRES) installed in the area of supply of the DISCOM.

The amount of distributed renewable energy generated will be accounted for by the DISCOM towards the compliance of its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). In case the system is set up by an obligated entity, the entire energy generated will be accounted for RPO compliance.

According to the commission, a prosumer will be responsible for the safe operation, maintenance, and rectification of any defect up to the point of the net meter, beyond which that responsibility will be that of the DISCOM.

The DISCOM will have the right to disconnect the renewable energy system at any time in the event of threat or damage from such a system to its distribution system, without any notice.

The CSERC has asked the DISCOMs to modify the existing billing infrastructure to facilitate the metering arrangements put down in the new regulations within three months of this order.

The cumulative capacity of distributed renewable energy systems allowed to be interconnected with the distribution network cannot exceed 100% of the feeder or distribution transformer capacity.

Any person will be eligible to establish and interconnect the IDRES with the network of the DISCOM on a first-come-first-serve basis.

All solar power projects will be awarded a must-run status. Banking of 100% of energy will be permitted for all captive and open access consumers during the year. Banking charges will be adjusted at the rate of 2% of the energy delivered.

The banking term will be from April to March. Banked units cannot be consumed in the peak months and the peak hours throughout the year.

For captive or third party sale, the energy injected into the grid from the date of synchronization to open access approval date will be considered as deemed energy banked. For this, the date of synchronization will be considered as the date of commercial operation. The unutilized banked energy, if any, at the end of the financial year will not be purchased by the DISCOM.

Keeping in mind the issue of land availability for solar projects, the state of Chhattisgarh is making a shift to distributed generation projects. Recently, CSERC issued terms and conditions for distributed solar projects in the state. According to these, the minimum capacity of a project must be 1 kW; the maximum limit has been set at 1 MW.

In Chhattisgarh, rooftop solar tenders have been very few, and even the deployment rate has not picked up. In May 2018, Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) tendered 50 MW of rooftop solar projects to be installed in the state. In January 2018, CREDA had tendered 2.084 MW of solar PV projects to be established across the nine districts of Chhattisgarh.