Haryana’s Draft Solar Policy Targets 6 GW Capacity by 2030
The target includes 3.2 GW of ground-mounted and 1.6 GW of rooftop solar capacities
The Haryana government has unveiled the ‘Draft Haryana Solar Power Policy 2023,’ aiming for 6 GW of solar power installations by 2030. This target comprises 3.2 GW of ground-mounted capacity, 1.6 GW of rooftop solar, and the solarization of 1.2 GW of irrigation pumps.
Power distribution companies (DISCOMs) can set aside 20% of the ground-mounted solar capacity for small generators of up to 2 MW. They can issue separate tenders for this reserved capacity, and the tariff for small generators will be determined based on the bids.
There will be no capacity restriction for entities looking to establish solar projects for their own consumption. These projects can be situated anywhere in India, and the generated power can be transmitted via open access. This can be accomplished either by the entity directly or through collaboration with a developer under a power purchase agreement.
The state will establish solar parks with developers made responsible for providing comprehensive plug-and-play facilities and infrastructure. Developing solar projects in these parks by independent power producers, whether for their own use, merchant sale, or sale to third parties, will be actively encouraged.
The draft policy promotes large-scale solar projects on canal tops, banks, and other water bodies. Suitable locations with shade-free space on canal banks will be identified in collaboration with the Haryana Irrigation Department to facilitate this. The Haryana Power Generation Corporation (HPGCL) will oversee the implementation of solar projects on canal tops, banks, and other water bodies.
The state government will implement government programs, including Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan, for the solarization of irrigation pumps.
The government can lease panchayat land for 30 years at rates determined by the Development and Panchayat Department. HPGCL will be the nodal agency for establishing solar projects on panchayat land.
Land used or designated for solar power projects will be exempt from government land ceiling regulations for the duration of the project’s operation.
Rooftop solar projects may be installed on CAPEX or RESCO modes with or without net metering facilities.
DISCOMs will permit eligible consumers to install rooftop systems as long as the total capacity of these systems doesn’t surpass the target capacity set by the Haryana State Electricity Commission (HERC).
Haryana has a maximum cumulative capacity of 500 MW for rooftop solar systems, including the existing capacity under net metering/gross metering.
HERC may assess this capacity limit annually, either voluntarily or in response to requests from DISCOMs or other interested parties.
Net metering will be allowed for loads up to 500 kW or the sanctioned load/contracted demand, whichever is lower. Gross metering is allowed for loads up to the sanctioned load/contracted demand. The minimum rated capacity for a rooftop solar system under net metering/gross metering should be at least 1 kW. Some variation in system capacity, within a 5% range, is acceptable based on the provided capacity limits.
No permission is required from the building plan sanctioning authority to set up rooftop solar systems.
Cluster of rooftops on public/ private buildings
A certain portion of the ground-mounted solar capacity will be reserved to develop grid-connected rooftop solar systems. The Haryana Renewable Energy Department will invite proposals from independent power producers to set up these rooftop systems ranging from 250 kW to 1 MW on clusters of public and private buildings. These projects will be selected based on the lowest tariff discovered in the auction.
The entire power produced by projects within four years from policy notification will be purchased by the Haryana Power Purchase Center (HPPC) or any state government entity. Alternatively, the developer can supply power for the captive use of the property where the solar system is installed using a net meter. As per HERC regulations, any excess power can be sold to HPPC or any government entity at the lowest tariff determined by HPPC or to a third party.
Government organizations, institutions, and buildings can lease or rent their available rooftop spaces or vacant land to independent power producers or RESCO developers to set up solar projects.
The lease/rent rates for such sites will be determined by a committee consisting of the Deputy Commissioner of the relevant district, the PWD Department, and the building/ land owner.
Solar energy-based EV charging
EV charging infrastructure will be established per the guidelines and standards outlined by HERC. Public EV charging stations may include rooftop solar facilities, and DISCOMs will offer net-metering connections for these solar-based EV charging stations. To track and maintain records, all public charging stations must register with the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency or a national portal, as required.
To promote and facilitate the eligible consumers, especially those located in the urban centers of Haryana, having constraints like access to adequate rooftop areas, virtual net metering, group virtual net metering, or gross metering will be promoted.
Power evacuation facility
The state transmission utility or DISCOM will cover the cost of Extra High Voltage (EHV) or High Voltage (HV) transmission lines up to a distance of 10 km from the interconnection point if power is supplied to DISCOMs under a power purchase agreement (PPA). If the distance between the interconnection point and the grid connection point exceeds 10 km, the cost of the transmission line for the portion beyond 10 km will be shared equally between the power producer and the DISCOM.
However, for solar projects based near canals, the utilities will provide the transmission lines free of cost, regardless of the project’s distance from the substation. This is on the condition that the solar power generated and used within Haryana contributes to the renewable purchase obligation of DISCOM.
Independent power producers who install power projects for selling electricity on a merchant basis or for captive use must bear the associated costs. The PPAs will govern the terms and conditions regarding the evacuation cost of power.
Exemption of charges
The wheeling of power for self-consumption or sale to third parties will be permitted, subject to the payment of transmission charges, transmission losses, wheeling charges, and wheeling losses. These charges will align with those applicable to regular open-access consumers.
However, if the solar energy is consumed on the same premises without utilizing the grid, there will be no transmission or wheeling charges and losses. Cross-subsidy surcharges and additional surcharges will not apply to captive projects.
The power produced by government producers and used by government entities will entail no open access charges like wheeling and transmission charges and losses, point of connection charges and losses, cross-subsidy charges, or additional surcharges.
Owners or consumers with solar captive projects can store excess power up to their contract demand for self-consumption by paying banking charges. These charges also cover the transmission and distribution losses (technical loss). This allows them to use the open access options on the transmission or distribution networks of the licensees for both banking and withdrawing the stored power. They must establish a banking agreement with the relevant DISCOMs to do this.
Exemption on other charges
Utility-scale projects will not require any changes in land use approval from the Town and Country Planning Department. These projects are also exempt from External Development Charges (EDC), scrutiny fees, and infrastructure development charges, except when a special service is needed, in which case EDC charges will be applied proportionally. The project details must be communicated to the Town and Country Planning Department.
However, once the power purchase agreement period expires or the plant ceases to operate on the land, the land’s use will return to its original state as specified in the master plan of the area or city at the time of the project’s installation.
There will be a 100% exemption of stamp duty on land. However, if the developer does not implement the projects or abandons the project before its life span except under force majeure conditions, it must pay the exempted stamp duty, failing which the land purchase deed will be canceled.
In December, the Delhi government released a draft solar policy that targets 6 GW of installed solar capacity in the next three years and envisaged a three-fold jump in solar energy share in annual electricity demand to 25% by 2025 from 9%.
The Uttar Pradesh Government approved the ‘Solar Energy Policy, 2022,’ revising its proposed target upwards to 22 GW of solar capacity by FY 2026-27.