Andaman and Nicobar Islands_ Energy Charges for Residential Rooftop Solar Cut by 59%

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has announced the energy and fixed charges for rooftop and ground-mounted solar in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for the financial year 2020-21. This was notified in its retail power tariff order for the financial year (FY) 2020-21.

The Commission, in its order, approved reduced the charges for domestic, commercial, and industrial (C&I) categories to incentivize them to install solar systems on their roofs and other available areas.

This order will come into force from June 01, 2020, and will remain valid until further orders.

The Commission said that the Andaman Islands has a high cost of supply on account of diesel generation, and it appreciated the electricity department’s effort to reduce diesel generation, which would bring down the cost of supply of power.

The Commission has not approved any hike in retail power tariff for FY 2020-21 from FY 2019-20. The Commission has approved the average billing rate for FY 2020-21 as ₹6.90 (~$0.09)/kWh as against the approved average cost of supply of ₹27.45 (~$0.36)/kWh. The revenue gap of ₹5.74 billion ($76.07 million) is said to be funded through budgetary support from the central government.

Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO)

For the FY 2020-21, the Commission approved the RPO target of 37.08 million units (MUs), of which 16.04 MUs would be from solar and 21.04 MUs from non-solar renewable energy sources. The electricity department had a projected purchase of 12.23 MUs of solar energy and 16.56 MUs of non-solar energy, thereby anticipating a shortfall of 3.81 MUs in solar and 4.47 MUs in non-solar for RPO compliance.

The Commission noted that there is a net shortfall of 8.29 MUs in RPO compliance for FY 2020-21. The electricity department was asked to meet this RPO obligation through physical power purchase failing, which should be fulfilled by the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Rooftop and Ground-mounted solar

The Commission said that domestic consumers who opt for rooftop or ground-mounted solar projects, will have to pay energy charges of ₹2.05 (~$0.03)/kWh for the consumption of 0-200 kWh, ₹7.2 (~$0.1)/kWh for the consumption of 200-500 kWh, and ₹7.5 (~$0.10)/kWh for the consumption of more than 500 kWh.

Similarly, for the commercial category, the consumer will have to pay ₹7 (~$0.09)/kWh for the consumption of 0-200 kWh, ₹9.5 (~$0.13)/kWh for 200-500 kWh and ₹12 (~$0.16)/kWh for the consumption of more than 500 kWh.

For the industrial category, the consumer will have to pay ₹5.5 (~$0.07)/kWh for 0-200 kWh and ₹6 (~$0.08)/kWh for 200-500 kWh. For more than 500 kWh, the consumer will have to pay ₹8 (~$0.11)/kWh.

There is a 59% reduction in energy charges for residential rooftop solar with the power consumption range of 100- 200 kWh, as the consumer has to pay only ₹2.05 (~$0.03)/kWh compared to  ₹5 (~$0.07)/kWh in the same category without solar.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands_Energy Charges for Rooftop and Ground-Mounted Solar Systems

The consumers will be considered under the domestic, commercial, and industrial (solar) categories only if they have installed rooftop or ground-mounted solar power projects in their premises equivalent to 15% of the connected load or 25% of the roof area (whichever is less).

Electric Vehicles

The energy charge for electric vehicle charging stations is approved as ₹6.90 (~$0.09)/kWh. Fixed charges have been removed.

Recently, JERC also announced generic tariffs for solar, wind, and small hydro projects. The order came into force from June 01, 2020, and will be valid until March 31, 2021.

The Commission also extended the existing generic tariff structure until May 31, 2020, because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The existing tariff structure announced last year was set to expire on March 31, 2020.