Haryana Regulator Asks 50 MW Captive Open Access Solar Project to Supply Power to DISCOM

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has approved the Haryana Power Purchase Center’s (HPPC) draft power purchase agreement (PPA) with Amplus Sun Solutions Private Limited. The PPA was signed for 50 MW of solar power from its project in Bhiwani.  HPPC is a joint forum created and owned by the state distribution licensees, namely, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN).

This is a welcome move after Haryana created hurdles to open access developers in the states by delaying regulatory approvals.

Background

Haryana Power Purchase Center had filed a petition seeking approval of the PPA with Amplus Sun Solutions from a grid-connected solar project in the Bhiwani district of Haryana at a tariff to be determined by the Commission.


Amplus developed the project as an open access/captive power project under the Haryana state solar policy 2016. The project was registered with the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Authority (HAREDA) for captive consumption. It was granted connectivity for the sale of power under open access on August 28, 2019.

In its order, the Commission decided to waive off the DISCOMs’ RPO backlogs until 2019 as a one-time measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission noted that the total installed capacity in the state, of 1.9 GW and 1.5 GW of solar and non-solar renewable energy, would be available by the end FY 2021-22 to meet RPO targets. Solar and non-solar RPOs to the level of 9.78% and 12.67%, respectively, are expected to be achieved through current sources during FY 2022-23. The Commission noted that the project is ready for commissioning and can immediately supply power, which will count towards meeting the RPO target from 2020-21 onwards.

Further, the state regulator said that the shortfall in meeting solar RPO up to FY 2018-19 was 1,850 million units (MUs), and during the FY 2019-20 (December 2019), the shortfall was 1,532 MUs. The Commission added that though it had decided to waive off the RPO backlogs because of the COVID-19 crisis, it had directed the DISCOMs to take every step to meet the RPO targets.

Commission’s Analysis

In its order, the regulator noted that in case the project starts selling power under the captive route, it will lead to loss of cross subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge from the industrial consumers who will be the captive users of this project. “In the overall interest of the consumers of the state, the project should sell power to the DISCOMs rather than selling directly to consumers under the captive mode,” said the Commission. The project has been set up in Bhiwani, near the load center, which will result in lower power distribution losses.

Further, HERC stated that HPPC considers that the sourcing of solar power from this project by the DISCOMs would be in the overall interest of all concerned, including the consumers.

Considering all these factors, the Commission approved HPPC’s draft PPA to be executed with Amplus Sun Solutions for the purchase of 50 MW of solar power for 25 years.