Solar RPO In India

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has accepted the submissions made by Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL) pertaining to the fulfilment of past renewable purchase obligations (RPO). NPCL’s submissions came after the UPERC had initiated suo moto proceedings in the matter of RPO targets by the obligated entities.

UPERC initiated the proceedings after Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. (UPPCL) failed to submit required information regarding the procurement of renewable energy for the financial year (FY) 2016-17 and FY 2017-18.

UPERC had directed both UPPCL and NPCL to submit a roadmap to meet the backlog of unfulfilled RPO. In response, UPPCL asked for three weeks’ time which was duly granted. Meanwhile, NPCL submitted its roadmap to fulfill the unmet RPO.

According to NPCL, the company fulfilled RPO obligation to the tune of 193.68 million units (MUs) up to March 31, 2018, which leaves a balance of 359.46 MUs to be fulfilled by FY 2018-19. Out of this capacity, the share of solar will be 57.72 MUs while non-solar will be 301.74 MUs.

NPCL has achieved non-solar RPO obligation of 147.38 MUs up to August 31, 2018. To meet the RPO, NPCL will procure 141.72 MUs through contracts during September 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. NPCL will also procure 12.64 MUs of non-solar energy on day-ahead basis up to March 31, 2019.

To fulfil solar RPO, NPCL will procure 0.40 MUs from captive solar projects, 32.18 MUs from interstate sources through short-term open access (STOA). Solar power generated through net-metered consumers amounting to 23.90 MUs and solar power from Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) amounting to 1.24 MUs will be considered for the RPO fulfilment.

UPERC has also directed NPCL to submit quarterly updates on the RPO fulfilment.

Recently, UPERC also issued new regulations for net metering provisions for rooftop solar projects in the state.

In June, the Ministry for Power set solar RPO for FY 2019-2020 at 7.25 percent and non-solar RPO at 10.25 percent. To ensure compliance, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) created a RPO Compliance Cell early this year. Though RPO is the single most important policy driving renewable energy installations in India, RPO compliance has not been up to the mark. Few states and union territories strictly adhere to RPO compliance. States like Maharashtra have taken a tough stance on RPO enforcement and it remains to see if other states follow.

Saumy Prateek 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.