Chhattisgarh Finalizes its Regulations for Distributed Solar Projects

The state is yet to witnesses a rapid expansion of solar projects

September 30, 2019


To facilitate the growth of renewable energy generation systems in the state, the Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) has approved the regulations for distributed renewable sources.

These regulations would apply to Prosumer Distributed Renewable Energy Systems (PDRES) owned by prosumer or third party. PDRES means a distributed renewable energy system set up by the consumer under the net metering mechanism. In the third-party-owned solar project, a rooftop or landowner may lease out or rent the premise to a solar developer on a mutual commercial arrangement. Under this arrangement, the owner of the premise engages a turnkey installer to design and install the project. The commercial arrangement between the project developer and the premise owner will be submitted to the distribution licensee for records.  The billing will be with one of the two parties, decided and informed to the distribution licensee as a party authorized the bill.

As stipulated in the regulations, a portion of distributed renewable energy generation as recorded by the meter will be accounted for by the distribution licensee towards the compliance of its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

The prosumer may set up a distributed renewable energy system to offset his electricity consumption from the distribution licensee.

In the case of net metering, the net meter will be procured, installed, and maintained by the distribution licensee. However, if the prosumer wishes to procure the meter, he can procure and present to the distribution licensee for testing, and the distribution licensee should maintain the installation.

The distribution licensee will undertake meter testing before the installation to ensure the accuracy of the meter. Testing should be conducted at the concerned division office of the licensee and completed within 15 days from the receipt of the meter.

For system size greater than 500 kW, the distribution licensee should synchronize the system, install meters and issue the letter of synchronization and date of commissioning (COD) to the applicant within seven days of receiving the safety certificate.

The distribution licensee must procure any excess energy generated by PDRES at the end of the settlement period at lowest rooftop solar tariff discovered through competitive bidding undertaken by distribution licensee in the last financial year. If such tariff is not available, lowest tariff through competitive bidding conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in the last fiscal year should be considered.

The cumulative capacity of distributed renewable energy systems allowed for interconnection with the distribution network should not exceed 100% of the respective distribution transformer capacity.

In case of excess installation, distribution transformer capacity will be increased to avoid denial of permission for setting up the PDRES.

In case the electricity supplied by the distribution licensee during any billing period exceeds the electricity injected in the grid by the PDRES, the distribution licensee should raise a bill for the net electricity consumption after taking into account any excess power carried for the net electricity consumption after taking into account any excess electricity carried forward from the previous billing period.

The maximum IDRES capacity to be installed by a person at a location should be based on the capacity and configuration of the electricity system. The minimum size of a distributed renewable energy system that can be set up under this arrangement will be 500 kW.

In case of failure to meet timelines prescribed under these regulations, a penalty of ₹1,000 (~$14.11) per day will be levied on the distribution licensee.

These regulations will come into effect after their publication in the official gazette.

In July 2019, Mercom had reported that the CSERC had issued draft regulations for grid-interactive distributed renewable sources.

Keeping in mind the issue of land availability for solar projects, the state of Chhattisgarh is making a shift to distributed generation projects. Recently, CSERC issued terms and conditions for distributed solar projects in the state. According to these, the minimum capacity of a project must be 1 kW; the maximum limit has been set at 1 MW.

In Chhattisgarh, rooftop solar tenders have been very few. In May 2018, Chhattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA) tendered 50 MW of rooftop solar projects to be installed in the state. In January 2018, CREDA had tendered 2.084 MW of solar PV projects to be established across the nine districts of Chhattisgarh.

Image credit: Oleg Savitsky [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.