The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has set ₹2.90 (~$0.039)/kWh as the generic tariff for surplus power procured at the end of the financial year from rooftop solar projects for the FY 2021-22.
The Commission said that the distribution licensees needed to procure surplus power at the end of the financial year, which in any case would be counted toward meeting their solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets.
The Commission also announced the distribution licensee-wise average power purchase cost (APPC) for the FY 2021-22:
The tariffs notified by MERC will be applicable for the FY 2021-22, with effect from April 01, 2021.
The state regulator extended the existing variable charges for biomass and non-fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects as determined under the ‘Renewable Energy Tariff Order’ dated April 30, 2019, until the variable cost for these projects was determined by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The variable charges are ₹5.55 (~$0.076)/kWh for biomass-based renewable energy projects and ₹4.38 (~$0.059)/kWh for non-fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects.
The charges will be applicable from April 01, 2020, until the fuel cost for biomass and non-fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects are finalized.
As per the ‘Renewable Energy Tariff Regulations, 2019,’ the determination of generic tariff is limited to notification of the generic tariff for rooftop projects and determination of variable charges for biomass and non-fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects.
Regarding the generic tariff for the rooftop solar projects, the Commission noted that distribution licensees procured surplus power under the net-metering arrangement or power generated by rooftop projects under the net-billing arrangement as prescribed under the MERC rooftop regulations, 2019.
Under the net-billing arrangement, the distribution licensee had to enter into an energy purchase agreement (EPA) at the APPC, which would be constant for the entire EPA period. Therefore, the Commission notified the generic tariff for rooftop projects to procure surplus energy at the end of the financial year.
On the issue of variable charges for biomass and non-fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects, the Commission observed that it would continue with the variable charges as determined under the renewable energy tariff order dated April 30, 2019, until the study by TERI was complete. Any variation in the cost so determined would be applicable for the FY 2020-21 and FY 2021-22 and adjusted in the subsequent bills.
In April last year, MERC said that it would determine tariffs for wind, solar, non-fossil fuels-based cogeneration, biomass-based, and hybrid renewable power projects only through a transparent process of competitive bidding. It added that the scope of determination of generic tariff under the ‘Renewable Energy Tariff Regulations, 2019’ would be limited to the notification of generic tariffs for solar rooftop projects and the determination of variable charges for biomass and non-fossil-based cogeneration projects.
Earlier, in an order, MERC had said that the generic tariff set by the Commission in cases where competitive bidding was also permissible would act as the ceiling tariff for guiding the competitive bidding process.
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Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.