The Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSERC) has issued new regulations for Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation (RPO) and its compliance. These regulations will apply to the state of Meghalaya and will come into force from the date of publication in the Official Gazette of Meghalaya.
These regulations will apply to all distribution licensees (DISCOMs), captive users, and open access consumers in Meghalaya. The RPO specified in this regulation will be valid up to March 31, 2021.
MSERC has fixed 0.75 percent solar RPO and 3.25 percent non-solar RPO for the financial year (FY) 2018-19. Moreover, it has fixed 1 percent as solar RPO and 4 percent as non-solar RPO for FY 2019-20. MSERC has also fixed 1.25 percent solar RPO and 4.75 percent non-solar RPO for FY 2020-21.
RPO will be applicable on the total consumption of electricity by an obligated entity, excluding consumption from hydro.
- In case of DISCOM being an obligated entity, the RPO target percentage will be applicable on the energy input.
- In case of any other obligated entity, the RPO target percentage will be applicable on the actual electricity consumption (excluding consumption supplied by DISCOM) recorded at the consumption point.
- All obligated entities must register themselves with RPO compliance and monitoring web tool and furnish requisite information to state agency.
- Electricity consumed by an obligated entity from grid‐connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system will qualify towards compliance of its solar RPO.
- Electricity generated by any non‐obligated entity from grid‐connected rooftop solar PV system will qualify towards meeting the solar RPO of the DISCOM. In such cases, the DISCOM must install solar generation meter at an appropriate location to measure the energy generated from such a system.
- The Meghalaya Non‐Conventional and Rural Energy Development Agency Commission (MNREDA) is the state agency for accreditation and recommending the renewable energy projects for registration with central agency.
- If the obligated entity does not fulfill its RPO during any year and does not purchase adequate certificate for meeting the shortfalls, the MSERC will direct the obligated entity to deposit the amount into a separate RPO fund.
- The MNREDA will inform of such shortfall if any a month prior to close of the year.
- The penalty enforced by MSERC on the obligated entity will not be a pass through in the Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) in case the obligated entity is a DISCOM.
- In case of difficulty in complying with the RPO due to non‐availability of certificates, the obligated entity can approach the MSERC for carry forward of compliance requirement to the next year.
- Renewable energy generating sources will have priority for open access and connectivity with distribution system or transmission system.
In the current regulations, the MSERC has drastically increased the RPO percentages. Per the earlier MSERC RPO regulations, solar RPO was 0.41 percent and non-solar 1.09 percent for FY 2015-16, 0.42 percent and 1.58 percent for FY 2016-17 and 0.43 percent and 2.07 percent for FY 2017-18.
Recently Meghalaya joined the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBHAGYA) program, which aims to provide last-mile connectivity to all willing households in India by 2018. This will lead to heightened electricity demand in the state. The current regulations will ensure that a sizeable portion of new electricity generation capacity addition in the state will be renewables.
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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.