Himachal Pradesh DISCOM Directed to Offset Solar RPO Deficit

Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) has directed the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL) to offset the net deficit of 103.97 MUs as per its solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) by March 31, 2022.

Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board is the state’s power distribution company.

The Commission decided to adjust the cumulative deficit of 120.53 MUs up to the financial year (FY) 2018-19 with a surplus of 16.56 MUs of solar procured by the STATE DISCOM in FY 2019-20. DISCOM also said that the surplus non-solar renewable energy for FY 2019-20 of 1389.63 MUs may be considered for issuing non-solar renewable energy certificates (RECs) for FY 2019-20.

If Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board fails to offset the deficit by March 31, 2022, it will not only be penalized but may also have to face action from the Commission.


Background

DISCOM had procured power from renewable sources (non-solar and solar) to meet its obligation of 10.25% from non-solar and 7.25% from solar energy for FY 2019-20. For FY 2020-21 and 2021-22, the solar obligation was 8.75% and 10.5%, respectively.

The Renewable Power Purchase Obligation for FY 2019-20 to FY 2021-22

DISCOM‘s Contentions

In its petition, DISCOM submitted that it had reported a surplus procurement of 1389.63 MUs of non-solar renewable energy for FY 2019-20. It requested the Commission to recommend the issue of non-solar RECs for the same.

DISCOM also reported a surplus power purchase of 16.56 MUs from solar power projects for FY 2019-20. It sought the surplus to be adjusted against the shortfall in the solar RPO compliance during FY 2018-19.

DISCOM agreed to furnish the quarterly compliance reports to the Directorate of Energy (DoE) in the future.

Respondents’ Submissions

The respondents – Additional Chief Secretary (Power), Department of Energy, and Himurja, the state’s renewable energy development agency, alleged that the DISCOM had submitted its RPO compliance status directly to the Commission instead of the required quarterly submissions to the department of energy. As a result, the data could not be verified.

The Additional Chief Secretary also contended that any penalty on account of the RPO shortfall of the DISCOM could burden consumers.

Commission’s Analysis

The Commission noted the non-solar RPO compliance status of DISCOM from FY 2015-16 to 2018-19 and the solar RPO compliance status from FY 2017-18.

Non-Solar RPO Compliance Status of Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board from FY 2015-16 upto FY 2018-19

 

Solar RPO Compliance Status of HPSEBL from FY 2017-18 upto FY 2018-19

The Commission confirmed that DISCOM had a net surplus of 1389.63 MUs of non-solar and 16.56 MUs of solar energy. For  FY 2019-20, the Commission decided to offset the cumulative deficit (up to FY 2018-19) of non-solar RPOs of 83.52 MUs with a surplus of 1389.63 MUs of non-solar renewable energy of FY 2019-20.

The Commission also certified that DISCOM had satisfied the eligibility criteria recommended for issuing RECs to the distribution licensees after considering the non-solar RPO compliance status of the previous three financial years. The DISCOM was found to have a net surplus of 1306.11 MUs of non-solar energy for FY 2019-20.

Regarding the solar RPO compliance for FY 2019-20, the Commission decided to offset the cumulative deficit of solar RPOs of 120.53 MUs with surplus solar renewable energy of 16.56 MUs for FY 2019-20.

With this adjustment, DISCOM had a net deficit of solar RPO of 103.97 MUs. The Commission directed DISCOM to offset this deficit by March 31, 2022, through any of the following options:

  • adjusting against surplus for the FY 2020-21
  • procuring solar RECs
  • buying additional power during the remaining part of the current financial year dedicated for adjustment of this deficit
  • adjusting against the REC inventory, if feasible, or by any other viable options.

The Commission directed the DISCOM to plan its solar RPO judiciously by procuring in advance through preferential tariffs to avoid any deficit.

In 2020, HPERC issued an order for DISCOMs in the state regarding their RPO backlogs.  It directed DISCOM to purchase power from renewable sources to meet its obligation of 9.5% from non-solar and 4.75% from solar energy for FY 2018.

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