Renewable Energy Policy Highlights from January 2019

Gujarat issued regulations for the forecasting, scheduling, and deviation settlement for solar and wind generation in the first month of 2019 joining Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Meghalaya.

Here is a roundup of the key policy announcements made by the central government and state agencies in the renewable energy sector in the month of January 2019:

Center

The Minister for Power R.K. Singh said that the government will soon approve the Power Tariff Policy which would impose a penalty for unscheduled power cuts by distribution companies. The policy is expected to come into effect from April 1, 2019.



The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERCproposed a set of levelized generic tariffs for the purchase of electricity from a host of renewable energy generation sources during financial year (FY) 2019-20. The levelized generic tariffs will apply to small hydro projects, biomass with Rankine cycle projects, non-fossil fuel-based co-generation projects, biomass gasifiers, and biogas-based projects.

The CERC finalized the amended regulations for open access in interstate transmission, which were initially passed in 2008. The commission has removed the ‘underutilization of transmission corridor’ as one of the criteria for revising the standing clearance.

 MNRE

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued draft offshore wind energy lease rules which are aimed at spurring activity in offshore wind, which has until now remained dormant. The draft is up for comments and suggestions up to February 25, 2019.

The Ministry of Power amended the competitive bidding guidelines for the procurement of power from grid-connected solar PV projects, incorporating changes to further the pace of solar installations in the country. The timeframe of commissioning of solar PV projects inside solar park has been reduced to 15 months from the earlier 21 months.

The MNRE said that the government will soon issue a list of solar manufacturers and models that will be utilized in government-owned projects and those set up for the sale of electricity to the government. The list will be in effect from March 31, 2020.

States

Goa government has approved the amendments in the Goa State Solar Policy – 2017. The policy aims to provide subsidy of up to 50 percent for small prosumers in residential, institutional, and social sector category with solar plants up to 100 kW capacity.

The state government of Gujarat has modified its land laws relating to the development of wind and hybrid (wind and solar) parks in the state. Land has been earmarked for wind and wind+solar hybrid projects auctioned by Gujarat state agencies as well as central agencies.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to pay dues to three wind project developers- Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Shah Promoters & Developers and Mahanagar Developers.

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has issued an order approving the signing of a power sale agreement between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Haryana Power Purchase Centre (HPPC) for 590 MW of wind power. The wind projects are expected to be commissioned in 2020.

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has announced new regulations for the forecasting, scheduling, and deviation settlement of solar and wind generating sources in the state. According to the regulations, forecasting will be done by wind and solar generators connected to the state grid, or by Qualified Coordinating Agencies on their behalf.

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for the state of Goa and union territories has extended the control period of JERC’s 2015 regulations for grid-connected solar power by three years. The order will now be applicable up to May 14, 2019.

The DERC has issued draft regulations for the implementation of RPO and renewable energy certificate (REC) framework. The draft is up for comments and suggestions up to February 20, 2019.

The MERC in its order has clarified that open access consumers can avail open access throughout the year and are entitled for adjustment of the banked units if it sources power from the same generator.

The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) has issued terms and conditions for distributed solar projects in the state.  The new regulations will apply to consumers willing to set up solar energy projects under net metering directly or through RESCO mode.

UPERC has finalized the proposed regulations related to net-metering provisions for rooftop solar projects in the state. The commission has fixed ₹2 (~$0.02)/kWh as the tariff for settlement under net-metering arrangement.

The Andhra Pradesh government has issued Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy-2018 to encourage energy generation from wind and solar hybrid projects in the state. The state government has set a target to achieve 18,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by the financial year 2021-22, which is 10 percent of the national target.