KERC Approves Tariff of ₹3.57/ kWh for Two Delayed Rooftop Solar Projects
The Commission, however, held that the rooftop solar systems had violated construction norms
The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has ruled in favor of two rooftop solar consumers and held that they are eligible for a tariff of ₹3.57 (~$0.043)/ kWh for the net energy injected into the grid.
The condition for availing of this tariff is the execution of a new power purchase agreement (PPA) within two months.
The consumers— in separate petitions— sought approval for two 1 MW rooftop solar projects from Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM).
BESCOM authorized an extension for commissioning the rooftop projects but was unilaterally withdrawn by the distribution company.
The petitioners questioned whether BESCOM had the jurisdiction to alter the terms and conditions without the Commission’s approval.
They also contended that BESCOM had canceled the power purchase agreements (PPA) without following the procedure.
While the petitioners acknowledged a delay in commissioning the rooftop solar projects, they argued that the cancellation was premature and unjust. The crux lies in determining the validity and legality of the PPA cancellation and whether due process was followed.
About the petitioners’ claim of completing 80% of the installation work within the stipulated time, BESCOM argued that the rooftop systems had installed solar modules on ground-mounted structures, which was a violation of construction norms.
KERC held that BESCOM lacked the jurisdiction to alter the guidelines without its approval. The circular, initially withdrawn by BESCOM, was without jurisdiction.
The Commission acknowledged the petitioners’ contentions but ultimately upheld the cancellation, citing violations of construction norms and technical requirements. It said solar panels must be mounted on rooftops.
It granted the petitioners a reduced tariff of ₹3.57 (~$0.043)/ kWh for the net energy injected into the grid upon commissioning the rooftop systems. However, the Commission clarified that this entitlement is contingent upon the petitioners’ executing new PPAs within two months.
Karnataka was the fifth-largest state for rooftop solar installations, with 5.5% of the total rooftop solar capacity installed in the country, according to Mercom India Research’s newly released Q3 2023 Mercom India Rooftop Solar Market Report.
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