Himachal Pradesh Increases State’s Solar RPO to 7.25 Percent for FY 2019-20

The Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) has issued HPERC (Renewable Power Purchase Obligation and its Compliance) (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2018. These regulations will apply to the state of Himachal Pradesh and will come into force from the date of publication in the Rajpatra, Himachal Pradesh.

Per the new regulation the state’s solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) has been set at 7.25 percent and non-solar RPO at 10.25 percent for financial year (FY) 2019-20. The solar RPO for FY 2020-21 is 8.75 percent and non-solar RPO is 10.25 percent. For FY 2021-22, both the solar and non-solar RPO has been set at 10.50 percent.

The new regulations will be applicable to the distribution company (DISCOM) or any person, consuming electricity procured from conventional sources through open access third party sale, or any person who installs captive generating project with an installed capacity exceeding 1 MVA.

The RPO will be applicable on the total consumption of electricity by an obligated entity, excluding consumption from hydro. The HPERC has also stated that in case the achievement of solar RPO compliance to the extent of 85 percent and above, the remaining shortfall if any, can be met by excess non-solar energy purchased beyond specified non-solar RPO for that year.

In its order the HPERC also stated that in case of achievement of non-solar RPO compliance to the extent of 85 percent and above, the remaining shortfall if any, can be met by excess solar energy purchased beyond the specified solar RPO for that year.

In the current regulations, the HPERC has gradually increased the RPO. Per the earlier HPERC order, solar RPO was 2.75 percent and non-solar RPO was 8.75 percent for FY 2016-17; for FY 2017-18, solar RPO was 4.75 percent and non-solar RPO was 9.50 percent and for FY 2018-19 solar RPO was 6.75 percent and non-solar RPO was 10.25 percent.

Recently, Meghalaya fixed 0.75 percent solar RPO and 3.25 percent non-solar RPO for the financial year (FY) 2018-19 and 1 percent as solar RPO and 4 percent as non-solar RPO for FY 2019-20.

On the contrary, Karnataka proposed a reduction in its major DISCOM, BESCOM’S RPO target from 13 to 12 percent.

In June, the Ministry of Power set the country’s solar RPO for FY 2019-20 at 7.25 percent and non-solar RPO at 10.25 percent.

However, despite the ambitious targets, RPO compliance has not been up to the mark in the past. Few states and union territories strictly adhere to RPO compliance. Mercom previously reported that 16 states and union territories achieved less than 60 percent of their respective RPOs in 2016-17. Compliance needs to be seriously ramped up if there is any chance of the new RPOs targets being met.

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.