The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has issued regulations for determining tariffs for renewable energy-based power sources for 2020. An important regulation included a 100% exemption of intra-state transmission and wheeling charges for solar power projects supplying power to electric vehicle charging stations.
Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, biomass power, biogas-based, biomass gasifier, non-fossil fuel-based cogeneration, renewable hybrid, small hydro, municipal solid waste (MSW), refuse-derived fuel (RDF), and renewable energy with storage projects.
Existing wind projects that have been in operation for at least ten years would be considered for repowering. Wind, solar, small hydro, solar-wind hybrid, and MSW projects will be treated as “must-run” projects.
Transmission and Wheeling Charges:
Renewable energy with storage projects installed after the date of notification of these regulations and before March 31, 2023, are given a 75% exemption in intra-state transmission and wheeling charges. These projects could be set up as a captive project or supplying power to a third party under open access. This exemption is applicable for the first seven years of operation from the project’s date of commissioning.
There is a 100% exemption in intra-state transmission and wheeling charges for solar power project set up after the notification of these regulations and before March 31, 2023, for supplying power to electric vehicle charging stations either under captive route or through open access. This exemption is applicable for the first ten years from setting up electric vehicle charging stations. This exemption applies to projects with an individual plant capacity of a maximum of 25 MW and for the total capacity of 500 MW.
Late Payment Surcharges:
Surcharges for bill payments delayed over 45 days from the date of invoice will be charged at a rate equivalent to the base rate on April 1 of the corresponding year along with a 400 basis-point-per year for each day the payment is delayed.
Captive Renewable Energy Projects:
The regulations stated that the maximum permitted capacity of eligible new renewable-based captive projects, including projects installed behind the meter, will be limited to 100% of the contracted demand. This energy can be consumed and banked from new renewable captive generating projects and will be limited to 5% over the minimum capacity utilization factor (CUF) or plant load factor (PLF).
The Commission said that banking of energy subject to a maximum of 25% of energy injected by captive renewable projects during 15-minute time blocks at the consumption end would be allowed only for captive consumption within the state.
Suppose power injected in any 15-minute block is more than the energy drawn. In that case, the additional power – subject to a maximum of 25% of the energy injected during the time block – will be computed and cumulated till the end of the month. This excess power is offset after adjusting the banking charges against the cumulative drawal of energy from distribution companies in the same month except for power drawn during peak demand hours.
Banking charges of 10% of the banked energy must be paid and adjusted against the energy banked before it was drawn.
Grid Connectivity Charges:
The regulations stated that renewable energy projects must pay grid connectivity charges of ₹250,000 (~$3,360)/MW to transmission or distribution licensees. They also said that energy would be accounted for by metering when power is sold to distribution licensees.
The regulation will be in effect from April 1, 2020. The control period for these regulations will be four years starting April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2024. The regulations will apply to new and existing renewable energy-based sources of power in Rajasthan that generate and sell electricity to distribution licensees in the state.
In January, the RERC issued a tender to engage consultants to assist in framing the terms and conditions for the determination of tariff for renewable sources from April 1, 2020.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Rajasthan has about 4.9 GW of solar projects in operation and around 8.5 GW of projects under development, as of September 2020.
Image credit: Unsplash
Nithin Thomas is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. More articles from Nithin.