Andhra Pradesh DISCOMs Set to Amend Rooftop Solar Policy

APERC calls for comments and suggestions from stakeholders by March 23, 2020

March 13, 2020


Andhra Pradesh’s distribution companies (DISCOMs) have proposed an amendment to the existing rooftop solar policy. The proposal states that the applicable tariff for solar rooftop projects for either net or gross metering should not exceed the difference of pooled variable cost and balancing cost or the applicable tariff at the time of commercial operation date (CoD), whichever is less.

The distribution companies have also proposed an agreement period of 10 years and suggested that the metering should be done either as gross or net metering.

According to the existing solar policy released in January 2019, the consumers are free to choose either net or gross metering options for the sale of power to DISCOMs. The applicable tariff for either of the cases was decided to be equal to the average pooled power purchase cost agreed to by the commission for the year during which the project is synchronized with the grid. The existing policy also says that the applicable tariff at the time of CoD will be paid for 25 years in case of projects executed under both net metering and gross metering basis.

The last date for the submission of comments and suggestions to the proposed amendment is March 23, 2020. A public hearing has been scheduled for March 24, 3020.

In January 2019, Andhra Pradesh released a new solar policy to promote widespread usage of solar power and set a minimum target of 5 GW in the next five years, as reported by Mercom.

Then in May 2019, it was reported that APERC approved the guidelines for implementing the state’s Solar Rooftop Policy 2018 that were submitted by the Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh Limited (APEPDCL). Although the APERC approved all the guidelines proposed by APEPDCL, however, it suggested that the APEPDCL should consider specifying a more extended period of minimum six months for rooftop solar PV projects in the range of 100 kW to 1,000 kW, and a one-time extension of up to 60 days. Initially, APEPDCL had provided three months for all sizes of rooftop solar PV projects.

Previously, Andhra Pradesh also approved a DISCOM-driven solar rooftop program proposed by APEPDCL. APEPDCL had petitioned the APERC to approve the DISCOM-driven solar rooftop PV program devised under the technical assistance program. APEPDCL had proposed two models for the implementation of this program.

Andhra Pradesh has a large share of power consumption going to its agricultural sector, constituting around 24% of the total energy consumption of the state. Given the consumption pattern, solar power can prove to be an excellent fit to shift the agriculture load and meet the power demand during the day time.

Image credit: Solar Provider Group