Himachal Pradesh Issues Draft Amendment to Rooftop Solar Regulations

The Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) has issued Draft (Rooftop Solar photovoltaic (PV) Grid Interactive System based on Net Metering) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2018.

The draft is open for comments and suggestions up to October 29, 2018.

These regulations are an amendment to the HPERC (Rooftop Solar PV the Grid Interactive System based on Net Metering) Regulations, 2015.

Key Amendments Proposed

  • Premise now means either rooftops or open areas on the land, building or infrastructure or part or combination of all of them.
  • Now, the maximum capacity of the rooftop solar system to be installed by any individual consumer covered under two-part tariff will not exceed 80 percent of the approved contract demand.
  • For rooftop solar PV system of 5 kW or less, 100 percent of approved connected load is allowed.
  • For rooftop solar PV system exceeding 5 kW but not exceeding 10 kW, 70 percent of approved connected load or 5 kW whichever is higher is allowed.
  • For rooftop solar PV system exceeding 10 kW, 50 percent of sanctioned connected load or 7 kW; whichever is higher will be allowed.
  • For single phase low tension (LT) consumers, the maximum allowable capacity of rooftop solar PV system will be 7 kW.
  • For three phase LT consumers, maximum allowable capacity of rooftop solar PV system will be 20 kW.
  • For 11 kV or higher voltage level consumers, maximum allowable capacity of rooftop solar PV system will be 1 MW.
  • Now the distribution licensee (DISCOM) will maintain redundancy of 30 percent in its distribution system.
  • In cases where any equipment of the distribution system is loaded or is likely to be loaded beyond 70 percent of the rated capacity because of the installation of such systems the DISCOM will act to augment the system by making suitable provisions in the CAPEX plan.
  • The eligible consumer will install and maintain main solar meter of 0.2s class accuracy with facility for recording meter reading using Meter Reading Instrument (MRI) or wireless equipment.
  • Check meter will be mandatory for rooftop solar PV system having capacity of more than 20 kW.
  • For installation of capacity of less than 20 kW, the solar check meter would be optional.
  • The cost of meters will be borne by the eligible consumer.
  • If the amount of subsidy or grant or both exceeds 50 percent of the capital cost of the rooftop solar system, the rates of ₹5 (~$0.068)/kWh and ₹4.5 (~$0.061)/kVAh, as applicable, will be reduced by 50 percent.
  • In cases where the consumer is getting supply at a voltage lower than the standard supply voltage specified in the Supply Code, the low voltage supply surcharge (LVSS) will be charged per rate approved in the tariff order issued by HPERC.

Recently, the state government of Himachal Pradesh decided to provide a state subsidy of 10 percent of cost or ₹4,000 (~$ 54.42)/kW to people installing rooftop solar.

Once these draft regulations are finalized, they are expected to facilitate the growth of rooftop solar in the state, as these regulations shed light on many grey areas like net-metering that have been affecting the growth of rooftop solar.

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.