Punjab Issues Draft Regulations for Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar and Net Metering

Punjab Issues Draft Regulations for Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar and Net Metering

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has issued the draft Grid-Interactive Rooftop Solar Regulations, 2021.

The regulations will come into force from the date of publication in the official gazette.

The proposed regulations will apply to net metering arrangements, net billing arrangements, and gross metering arrangements.

As per the proposed regulations, all consumers falling under the jurisdiction of supply of the distribution licensee (DISCOM) could install a rooftop solar system under net metering, net billing, or gross metering arrangements. The DISCOM would provide the net metering facility to the consumers with an approved load of up to 500 kW.

The minimum capacity of the rooftop system under the net metering arrangement has been set at 1 kW. The minimum capacity under the gross metering arrangement would be 50 kW for a single consumer.

The Commission has directed that the maximum capacity of a rooftop solar system, except for domestic category consumers, should not exceed 50% of the approved load or the contract demand of the consumer. The maximum capacity for domestic consumers should not exceed the approved load or contract demand of the consumer, the Commission noted.

The proposed regulations specify that DISCOM should provide rooftop solar systems to consumers as long as the total capacity of the rooftop systems does not exceed the target capacity. The cumulative capacity of all rooftop systems to be interconnected with the distribution network should not exceed 80% of the rated capacity of the distribution transformer.

The DISCOM would have to update the distribution transformer level capacity and the cumulative capacity of the rooftop solar systems installed under net metering and net billing arrangements every year by April 30.

Interconnection with grid  

According to the proposed regulations, the voltage level for interconnection with the grid should be the voltage level at which DISCOM has given the supply to the consumer.

The rooftop system may be installed with or without battery backup. If the rooftop solar system is installed with a battery backup, the inverter should have an appropriate arrangement to prevent the battery power from flowing into the grid in the absence of grid supply, and a manual isolation switch should also be provided.

The rooftop solar system must be capable of detecting an unintended islanding condition.

Metering

All the meters installed at the rooftop solar systems should comply with the Central Electricity Authority (Installation and Operation of Meters) Regulations, 2006. All meters are required to have an advanced metering infrastructure facility with RS 485 (or higher) communication port.

The generation meter should be installed as an integral part of the rooftop solar system, where the electricity is generated by the rooftop system and delivered to the main panel.

The net metering equipment (bi-directional) and the generation meter (uni-directional) should be installed and maintained by the DISCOM at the cost of the consumer.

If DISCOM provides the meters, the consumer would be liable to pay meter rental.

If the rooftop system is set up under net billing or gross metering arrangement, the DISCOM would have to install an additional check meter or generation meter.

Application and registration

The distribution licensee would have to facilitate the process for setting up rooftop systems on the consumers’ premises.

A consumer intending to set up the rooftop solar system should apply online along with a processing fee of ₹50 (~$0.67)/kW, subject to a maximum of ₹10,000 (~$133.74).

The DISCOM is required to complete a technical feasibility study within 20 days of the date of acknowledgment issued to the applicant.

If technical feasibility meets set parameters, DISCOM would have to approve the application and provide the letter of approval (LoA).

In case of any deficiencies found in the application or during the technical feasibility study, the same should be intimated to the applicant within 20 days from the date of issuance of acknowledgment of the application.

The consumer shall set up the plant within 180 days of receiving the LoA.

In case of delay, the consumer should submit an application to the DISCOM along with an extension fee of ₹25 (~$0.33)/kW, subject to a maximum of ₹5,000 (~$66.87) at least 15 days before the lapse of 180 days. The approval granted would lapse automatically if the project is not set up even in the extended two months. If the consumer fails to install the system within 180 days or gets the period extended, the application will be canceled.

Net metering energy accounting and settlement

The proposed regulations state that if the electricity injected by the rooftop system exceeds the electricity consumed from the licensee’s supply system during the billing period, such excess injected electricity will be carried forward to the next billing period.

If the electricity supplied by DISCOM during any billing period exceeds the electricity injected in the grid, DISCOM would be required to raise a bill for the net electricity consumption as per the applicable tariff of that category after considering any excess electricity carried forward from the previous billing period.

The DISCOM will purchase the excess electricity at the end of the settlement period at the feed-in tariff approved by the Commission.

The rooftop system installed under these regulations will be exempted from all wheeling, cross-subsidy, transmission and distribution, and banking charges.

Gross metering energy accounting and settlement

The energy consumed by the consumer during the billing cycle would be billed at the retail tariff applicable for the relevant category as determined by the Commission. In contrast, energy generated during the billing cycle would be billed at feed-in-tariff approved by the Commission.

Renewable Purchase Obligation

The amount of solar generation by the consumer, who is not defined as an obligated entity, from the rooftop solar system will qualify towards compliance of renewable purchase obligation for the distribution licensee.

Penalty and compensation

In case of failure to meet timelines, the distribution licensee should take approval from the Commission. If the distribution licensee fails to meet the deadline without a valid cause, the licensee should be liable to pay compensation to the consumer at ₹500 (~$6.69)/day for each day of delay for systems not exceeding 10 kW. For systems exceeding 10 kW, the compensation will be ₹50 (~$0.67)/kW for the daily delay, subject to a maximum of ₹2,000 (~$26.75) for each day of delay.

Termination of agreement

The consumer may terminate the agreement at any time by giving 30 days’ prior notice to the licensee. If the consumer breaches any term of the agreement and does not remedy it within 30 days without any valid reason, DISCOM may terminate the agreement without further notice.

Recently, the Ministry of Power issued the much-awaited amendment to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers), 2020, Rules concerning net metering for rooftop solar installations. The amendment permits net metering to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower.

In January this year, PSERC said that it would develop a staff paper, suggesting amendments to the Net Metering Regulations, 2015.

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Source Link: https://mercomindia.com/punjab-regulations-grid-connected-rooftop-net-metering/

Government Approves Net Metering for Rooftop Solar Systems Up to 500 kW Capacity

Government Approves Net Metering for Rooftop Solar Systems Up to 500 kW Capacity

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has finally issued the much-awaited amendment to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) 2020 Rules concerning net metering for rooftop solar installations. The amendment permits net metering to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower.

Under the latest Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules, 2021, the arrangements for net-metering, gross-metering, net-billing, or net feed-in would follow the regulations made by the State Commission from time to time.

The Amendment

The latest amendment considers net billing or gross metering for rooftop solar systems over 500 kW capacity. For the net metering facility, a single bidirectional energy meter is used at the point of supply where the energy imported from the grid and the energy exported from the grid-interactive rooftop solar system of a prosumer is computed at two different tariffs.

As per the new amendments, net metering will be allowed to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower, and gross metering for loads over 500 kW.

The amendment further adds that in either case of net-metering or gross metering, DISCOM may install a solar energy meter to measure the gross solar energy generated from the grid-interactive rooftop solar system for renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) credit, if any.

The amendment has also permitted gross metering for prosumers who would like to sell all the solar energy generated to DISCOM instead of using net metering. The Commission would decide the generic tariff for gross-metering as per tariff regulation.

Another important point added in the order is that the state regulatory commissions may choose to introduce time-of-the-day tariffs where prosumers are incentivized to install energy storage for storing the solar energy or feeding it to the grid during peak hours. This could help the grid to manage the demand response.

“This order approving net metering for solar systems up to 500 kW removes the uncertainty that was hanging over the market and allows the rooftop market to get moving again,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Background

Net metering, one of the vital policy drivers for rooftop solar adoption, has witnessed a series of revisions in India in the past few months.

Net metering for rooftop solar systems was capped at 1 MW until the government proposed to drastically cut it to 10 kW in December 2020. Several stakeholders believed the government’s proposal would destroy the rooftop solar market. After severe opposition and representation by the industry, the government relented, considering net metering for capacity up to 500 kW.

Source Link: http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/470878/asia-and-the-pacifics-progress-towards-sustainable-development-goal-7/

Gujarat Unveils Electric Vehicle Policy with Plans to Add 200,000 EVs by 2025

Gujarat Unveils Electric Vehicle Policy with Plans to Add 200,000 EVs by 2025

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced the Gujarat Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy, 2021. The policy aims to move the state’s transportation sector towards electric mobility to reduce pollution and protect the environment.

The government plans to popularize EVs in the state and make Gujarat a hub for EV and ancillary equipment manufacturing.  Encouraging young startups and investors in electric mobility and support sectors such as data analytics and information technology are other government objectives. The policy would encourage new EV technology and help create job opportunities in the EV sector.

The planning, execution, and review of the policy have been handed to the Department of Port and Transportation.

The policy will be valid for four years, starting from July 1. The state government could undertake a mid-term review of the policy given any technological breakthrough or remove any difficulties or inconsistency with the Electricity Act, 2003.

Under the new policy, the state government will completely exempt electricity duty on EV charging stations during the policy period.

The policy also specifies that state distribution licensees will allow charging of EVs from the existing connection of a consumer at the existing tariff, except an agriculture connection.

All housing and commercial establishments will have to give a no-objection certificate to their members who wish to install EV charging stations at designated parking spaces.

Petrol pumps will be allowed to set up a charging station, provided the facility meets the fire and safety norms of relevant authorities under relevant acts/rules.

In a press conference held at the state’s capital Gandhinagar, Rupani said that around 200,000 EVs would ply on Gujarat’s roads in the next four years. These would include 110,000 electric two-wheelers (E2W), 70,000 electric three-wheelers (E3W or e-rickshaws), and 20,000 electric cars.

Considering that the per kilometer expenditure of an EV is 30-50% lesser than an internal combustion engine (ICE), Rupani said, “We have estimated that around 200,000 EVs in the state will help save fuel worth ₹50 million (~$672,622) and reduce around 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission.”

The Gujarat government would provide a subsidy of ₹10,000 (~$139)/kW, for which the administration will bear a cost of ₹8.7 billion (~$117 million) in the next four years.

The policy offers a subsidy of ₹20,000 (~$270) for E2W that cost up to ₹150,000 (~$2,018); ₹50,000 (~$673) subsidy for E3W that cost up to ₹500,000 (~$6,731), and ₹150,000 (~$2,018) subsidy for electric cars that cost up ₹1.5 million (~$20,193). The subsidy amount will be directly transferred to the beneficiary account through direct benefit transfer.

Private and commercial EVs approved by the Gujarat regional transport office will be exempt from paying a registration fee. Rupani said that these benefits would be in addition to the benefits granted by the Government of India under the ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Strong) Hybrid and Electric Vehicles’ (FAME) II program.

The policy also includes setting up battery charging infrastructure for EVs. Under FAME II, 278 EV charging stations have been approved in the state. The government is also aiming to add 250 more stations, and a capital subsidy of 25% in the limit of ₹1 million (~$13,456) would be provided for the purpose.

Energy and Petrochemicals Department will be the nodal agency for charging stations and related subsidies.

A network of 528 charging stations will be set up in Gujarat in the coming years. The government would also encourage charging infrastructure with various business models and technologies to encourage battery swapping and charging infrastructure among private individuals, distribution companies, and investors.

Apart from this, EV manufacturers will receive benefits under the Gujarat Industrial Policy and other policies. This policy has been framed to remain in tune with the National Electric Mobility Plan.

Earlier this month, West Bengal rolled out its Electric Vehicle Policy, 2021, to position the state as a sustainable transportation infrastructure hub. As part of the plan, the state is expected to have 1 million EVs on the road and 100,000 charging stations in the next five years, in line with the FAME-II guidelines.

Last year, the Delhi government had issued the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020, to boost the adoption of EVs in the national capital following the unsatisfactory results of the central government’s efforts.

Source Link: https://mercomindia.com/gujarat-unveils-electric-vehicle-policy/

India working on a green tariff policy

India working on a green tariff policy

The union government is also working on a raft of measures, including ethanol blending with fossil fuels, green mobility, battery storage and green hydrogen, to help reduce pollution and facilitate commitments made at COP-21

NEW DELHI: In what will reinforce India’s green energy credentials, the union government is working on a ‘green tariff’ policy that will help electricity distribution companies (discoms) supply electricity generated from clean energy projects at a cheaper rate as compared to power from conventional fuel sources such as coal.

This was announced by power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh on Tuesday who said the government was in the process of formulating a set of rules and guidelines to enable such a mechanism.

In the event of a large corporate looking to procure only green power, the available option is to contract such power from a clean energy developer as has been the case in the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment, with distributed renewable energy generation attracting strong investor interest. Presently, discoms purchase renewable energy as part the renewable purchase obligations (RPO).

Once the mechanism is in place, discoms can exclusively buy green electricity and supply it at ‘green tariff’, which will be the weighted average tariff of green energy that the consumer will pay, Singh said.

This comes in the backdrop of India’s solar and wind power tariffs hitting an all-time low of 1.99 per unit and 2.43 per unit respectively. India is running the world’s largest clean energy programme to achieve 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable capacity, including 100GW of solar power by 2022.

Singh said this ‘green tariff’ will be slightly lower than the tariff from conventional fuel sources and added that the new regulations will help ensure that if an industry wants only green power from a developer, the open access applications will have to be approved within a fortnight.

Open access allows large users of energy, typically those who consume over 1 megawatt of power, to buy it from the open market, instead of depending on a more expensive grid. However, state discoms have not been allowing clean energy developers to use their power transmission and distribution networks to supply electricity to third-party and captive consumers.

Ensuring open access will also attract large green electricity consumers setting up their own captive green energy plants.

“The rules are coming out,” Singh said at a curtain raiser press conference on ‘India’s role as global champion for the Energy Transition theme of the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy 2021.’

The union government is also working on a raft of measures, including ethanol blending with fossil fuels, green mobility, battery storage and green hydrogen, to help reduce pollution and facilitate commitments made at COP-21, the UN Climate Change Conference held in France in 2015.

According to the government, “India is the only major economy with actions in line to keep global warming below 2°C of pre-industrial levels.”

Singh said India’s per capita emission is well below the world average, with 67-75% of carbon space occupied by developed nations.

However, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) set up to provide developing nations $100 billion annually by 2020 to counter climate change has seen lukewarm response.

“The Minister called on all other countries, especially those in positions of privilege to work ambitiously to support a global energy transition that is just, inclusive, and equitable,” the government said in a statement.

As part of its energy transition efforts, India is working towards electrification of economy by developing action plans for greening of electricity. According to the Central Electricity Authority, by 2030, the country’s power requirement would be 817GW, more than half of which would be clean energy.

Singh also said the union power ministry will soon come out with a policy to promote hydro pump storage schemes with around 96 GW identified as a potential capacity for the same.

The idea is to use cheap green power during off-peak hours to raise water to a height and then release it into a lower reservoir to generate electricity. Pump storage helps the national power grid withstand fluctuations caused by intermittent supplies from solar and wind.

Also, in such a scenario, storage holds the key to providing on-demand electricity from wind and solar projects, with India increasingly looking at hydro pump storage schemes for utility-scale projects to solve its energy storage problems.

Indian green energy projects have been facing myriad problems. The latest case in point being the concern about the impact caused by electricity transmission lines that are being laid down for green energy projects, which happen to bypass the habitat of the endangered Great Indian Bustard. With the Supreme Court mandating that overhead power transmission links be brought underground to to help prevent the heavy bird, which lacks frontal vision, from colliding with the cables, developers in Rajasthan and Gujarat have flagged concerns about the impact on financial viability of their projects.

Singh said the government is studying the apex court’s order, which is not a “peremptory order,” with the court saying that it has to be examined whether a particular transmission line poses danger.

Singh added that it has already been made clear that very high-tension power transmission lines can’ t be brought underground, and only 33 kV and below can be brought underground.

Source Link: https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/india-working-on-a-green-tariff-policy-11624353691425.html

Government contemplates major renewable energy push

Government contemplates major renewable energy push

Amendment being considered to make rooftop solar power projects mandatory for new buildings.

Team Herald

PANJIM: In a major announcement, Non Conventional Energy Minister Nilesh Cabral on Thursday said the government is contemplating amending the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act, so as to make it mandatory for new buildings to install rooftop solar power projects.

Cabral said the government is giving a 50 per cent subsidy for installation of grid-connected solar power projects in the State but people were still not coming forward to install them and save power consumption.
Cabral said he has already written to the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister and the Chief Minister requesting them to amend the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act, and to make it mandatory to install solar power panels on rooftops.

The Minister said that once the Act is amended, any person applying for construction of single dwellings, apartment houses, flats, etc will have to install solar panels on rooftops before the building plan is approved.

The Minister said, “If every Goan decides to install solar power panels then we do not need Tamnar transmission lines.”

Cabral also demanded that those opposing infrastructure projects like the Tamnar transmission lines should start using solar power on their residences.

“I have been promoting solar power projects and appealing to people to install them on their residences but people are not opting for it. For the last one-and-half-year I have installed solar power projects on my two establishments and I am saving on an average Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month,” he said.

Cabral cautioned that during the next Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) meeting, he will propose certain amendments to benefit users of solar power. “In the next JREC meeting I will propose two different tariffs for those who use solar power and for those who get electricity directly from the grid,” he said.

Stating that currently both consumers were charged the same tariffs, the Minister said that in future the government will provide benefits like lower tariffs to those using solar power considering their investment in installing them.

Source Link: https://www.heraldgoa.in/Goa/Govt-contemplates-major-renewable-energy-push/176045