High Landed Cost Detrimental to the Growth of Open Access Solar in Some States

Long-term open access (LTOA) solar offers an attractive proposition for high-tension (HT) industrial consumers. In most states, the tariffs for LTOA range from ₹3.50 (~$0.047)/kWh to ₹5 (~$0.067)/kWh.

India installed 935 MW of open access solar capacity during 9M 2021, a 143% increase compared to 385 MW installed during 9M 2020, according to Mercom’s India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2021.

The report notes that the landed open access cost is in the range of ₹3.70 (~$0.049)/kWh to ₹7.14 (~$0.096)/kWh in most states.

However, the exorbitant landed open access cost in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and a few other states has had a detrimental effect on the growth of open access.

Landed cost of open access is the total of all open access charges, including wheeling charge, additional surcharge, cross-subsidy surcharge, and the tariff set in the power purchase agreement (PPA). The wheeling and transmission charges vary according to the voltage parameters within the state.

Open Access Charges as a % of Landed Open Access Cost

The cross-subsidy surcharge in the states is between ₹1.71 (~$0.023)/kWh and ₹2.23 (~$0.029)/kWh.

According to the report, BESCOM in Karnataka has a high cross-subsidy surcharge of ₹2.23 (~$0.029)/kWh, which is the reason for such a high landed open access cost. In contrast, a high additional surcharge in Maharashtra has been responsible for a high landed cost in the state.

Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Gujarat are some of the states with the lowest landed cost and are attractive for the growth of LTOA.

Chhattisgarh has waived additional and cross-subsidy surcharge, which resulted in 45 MW of open access installations in 9M 2021. The open access charges as a percentage of landed cost is 5%. Uttar Pradesh and Odisha have also waived the additional surcharge.

In Odisha, the open access charges account for 22% of the overall landed cost. In Tamil Nadu, the open access charges amount to 42% of the total landed cost.

Recently, several states like Telangana, Delhi, and Gujarat have increased the additional surcharge for open access consumers.

Last month, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission issued a draft regulation – ‘Connectivity and General Network Access to the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) Regulations, 2021.’ The proposed regulations provide the framework to facilitate open access power to consumers, generating companies, and distribution licensees for ISTS use through General Network Access (GNA). GNA is open access to ISTS connectivity granted under these regulations.

The report also gives insights into the short-term transactions, such as the day-ahead market, bilateral contracts, real-time market, and the green-term ahead market within the open access space.

According to the report, Uttar Pradesh sold the highest amount of power in the day-ahead market in Q2 2021, accounting for 13.9% of all power sold in the quarter.

For the complete report, visit: https://mercomindia.com/product/india-solar-open-access-market-report-q3-2021