Uttarakhand Issues Draft Tariff Regulations and RPO Targets for Solar Projects

The Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) has released draft tariff regulations for the supply of electricity from renewable energy sources and non-fossil fuel based co-generating stations for the year 2018. The draft is open for comments until May 21, 2018. The agency also set renewable purchase obligations (RPO) up to FY 2022-23.

These regulations will come into effect from the date of notification and will remain in force for a period of five years from the date of enforcement.

The regulations will apply in all cases where electricity from renewable energy sources and non-fossil fuel based co-generating stations is being supplied to the distribution licensees (DISCOMs) or local rural grids within Uttarakhand.

The UERC has set 10.25 percent as the non-solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) and 6.75 percent as solar RPO for Uttarakhand for the financial year (FY) 2018-19.



For FY 2019-20, UERC has a fixed 11 percent non-solar RPO and 7 percent solar RPO. Non-solar and solar RPOs will be applicable on total consumption of electricity by a consumer, excluding consumption met from hydro sources of power.

The non-solar RPO for FY 2020-21 has been fixed at 11.75 percent and the solar RPO at 7.50 percent. For FY 2021-22, the solar RPO is 8 percent and non-solar RPO is 12.50 percent. For FY 2022-23, the solar RPO is 8 percent and the non-solar RPO is 13 percent.

According to the UERC regulations, if the solar RPO is not met in a particular year, then the additional non-solar renewable energy, over and above the non-solar RPO, will be utilized for the fulfillment of the solar RPO.

In the draft, UERC has specified 25 years as the useful life of wind power projects, while 20 years has been set as the useful life of biomass power projects, including power projects based on municipal solid waste (MSW) and refuse-derived fuel (RDF) with rankine cycle technology.

Moreover, UERC has set 20 years as the useful life of non-fossil fuel based co-generation projects, 35 years for small hydro projects, and 25 years for solar projects.

UERC has established ₹38.791 million (~$0.58158 million)/MW as the capital cost of a solar PV project and the O&M expenses has been established at ₹1.230 million (~$0.01844 million)/MW. Capital costs for canal bank solar PV projects are set at ₹60 million (~$0.89956 million)/MW and O&M expenses are ₹1.230 million (~$0.01844 million)/MW. Capital costs for canal top solar PV project are ₹62.5 million (~$0.93704 million)/MW and O&M expenses are ₹1.230 million (~$0.01844 million)/MW.

UERC has fixed ₹120 million (~$1.79911 million)/MW as capital costs of solar thermal power project, with O&M expenses of ₹1.677 million (~$0.02514 million)/MW. Capital costs for grid-connected rooftop solar PV projects were set at ₹39.058 million (~$0.58558 million)/MW and O&M expenses at ₹1.163 million (~$0.01744 million)/MW.

The capital costs for a wind power project are ₹51.5 million (~$0.77212 million)/MW and O&M expenses are ₹0.951 million (~$0.01426 million)/MW.

For small hydro project (SHP) of up to 5 MW, UERC has fixed capital costs of ₹100 million (~$1.4992 million)/MW and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs of ₹4.5 million (~$0.06747 million)/MW. For SHP of 5 MW to 15 MW in size, the capital costs are set at ₹95 million (~$1.42430 million)/MW and O&M costs at ₹3.8 million (~$0.05697 million)/MW. For SHP of 15 MW to 25 MW, capital costs are ₹90 million (~$1.349 million)/MW and O&M costs are ₹3.150 million (~$0.0472 million)/MW.

For non-fossil fuel-based co-generation projects capital costs have been fixed at ₹49.250 million (~$0.73839 million)/MW and O&M expenses for the first year will be ₹2.235 million (~$0.03351 million)/MW. For biomass gasifier projects capital costs are ₹59.288 million (~$0.889 million)/MW and O&M costs are ₹5.585 million (~$0.08373 million)/MW.

For biogas projects, capital costs are ₹118.5 million (~$1.77662 million)/MW and O&M costs are ₹5.585 million (~$0.08373 million)/MW.

Recently, UERC also issued the terms and conditions of intra-state open access for 2018 under which the agency has introduced a cross-subsidy surcharge for open access consumers.

Image credit: RattanIndia