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Karnataka was the top state for open access solar installations in the third quarter (Q3) of the calendar year (CY) 2022.
The state was followed closely by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
The top five states accounted for over 83% of the total installations during the quarter.
The standings were revealed in Mercom India Research’s newly released Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2022.
India installed around 596 MW of open access solar capacity in Q3 2022, an increase of 91% year-over-year (YoY).
At a state level, open access installations saw a gradual increase post the Green Energy Open Access policy implementation and similar policy rollouts by the state governments.
Karnataka remained the top state for open access solar throughout the year, accounting for a third of the installations during Q3 in India.
The streamlined Karnataka Open Access Policy offers relatively easier capacity uptake by consumers for reducing their power costs, creating more opportunities for installations in the state.
The state has one of the most favorable regulatory frameworks, offering stability and hassle-free installations with faster approvals and timely consumer bill settlements.
The third-party model for open access was rendered unviable as the state hiked the cross-subsidy and additional surcharges. Third-party projects constituted about 4% of the installations, while the rest were under captive and group captive mode.
In Q3 2022, Maharashtra added the second-highest solar open access solar capacity.
The state is known for its highest electricity tariff in the country, which has been the primary reason for commercial consumers to switch to open access solar to cut energy costs.
Industrial consumers such as automotive, manufacturing industries, and data centers also added to the state’s open access solar capacity.
Maharashtra’s multi-year tariffs provide developers with the bandwidth to plan and execute projects while protecting the investors’ and consumers’ interests.
The state allows 100% of the energy to be banked annually with a banking charge of just 2%, which favors the state’s open access consumers.
Tamil Nadu added the third-highest open access solar installations in Q3.
During the quarter, the state notified a multi-year tariff that specified open access charges for the next few years.
The retail tariff increase in the new order is expected to make captive and group captive open access adoption more attractive, as it also allows exemption of cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge.
Captive and group captive models offer significant cost savings to commercial and industrial (C&I) consumers.
The third-party projects might decline due to the increased cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge.
Andhra Pradesh was fourth on the list for solar open access capacity added in Q3 2022.
The state’s C&I entities are increasingly opting for captive and group captive solar open access projects because of their low landed costs compared to the electricity tariffs. Textile, cement, and battery manufacturing units were the primary open access consumers in the state.
Andhra Pradesh has the highest project pipeline, and the state DISCOMs have also started issuing timely project approvals to boost the installations in the state.
Chhattisgarh rounded off the top 5 list for open access installations.
The state’s cross-subsidy surcharge exemption on the first 500 MW renewable open access installations was the primary reason behind the increased capacity addition.
Chhattisgarh doesn’t levy transmission, wheeling, and state load dispatch charges on long-term, medium-term, or short-term transactions for intrastate open access solar projects, which has also driven the installation numbers.
The Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2022 covers a detailed analysis of state policies and regulations related to solar open access and covers vital information and data on the market.