Rajasthan Proposes Annual Banking to Promote Captive Renewable Projects
The Commission also proposed other changes to align with Central Regulator’s norms
May 9, 2023
The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has proposed certain amendments to ease procedures for developing renewable projects for captive use by allowing banking annually, making it attractive for end-users.
Further, to introduce the Green Energy Tariff, Green Certificate, and Ratings in line with the Green Energy Open Access Rules 2022, three new regulations have been proposed. The Commission has issued the draft ‘Terms and Conditions for Tariff Determination from Renewable Energy Sources (First Amendment) Regulations, 2023.’
The amendments deal with transmission and wheeling charges, captive generating projects, banking of energy, green energy tariff, and green certificates.
The stakeholders can submit their suggestions until May 26, 2023.
As per the proposed regulations, the terms and conditions for banking will be applicable for existing and new renewable energy-based captive projects during the application of the control period of these regulations.
Banking will be allowed on an annual basis for the financial year. Earlier, also the banking settlement period was on a yearly basis.
For availing the banking facility, the captive projects should install Availability Based Tariff (ABT)-compliant special energy meters capable of energy accounting for each block of 15 minutes. Based on minute frequency changes, ABT meters can estimate the amount of power that needs to be distributed and calculates deficits in real time.
However, projects that provide electricity to third parties through open access or are installed behind the meter will not be eligible for energy banking facilities.
Further, energy banking from these generating stations will be limited to 25% of the energy injected during the month or 30% of the total monthly electricity consumption from the distribution companies (DISCOMs) by the consumer, whichever is greater. This energy banking will only be permitted for captive consumption within the state.
Also, for availing banking facility, the renewable energy captive generation station will have to enter into a wheeling and banking arrangement with DISCOM.
If more energy is injected than drawn during any time block, the surplus energy will be calculated and added to a cumulative total for the month. This cumulative excess energy will offset the amount of energy drawn from the DISCOM during the same month, except for the energy drawn during peak hours as determined by the DISCOM. Any banking charges will be factored in when making these adjustments.
If, in a given month, the amount of injected energy exceeds the energy drawn, the excess injected energy (limited to a maximum of 25% of the energy injected by the renewable energy captive generating station) will be used to offset the cumulative energy drawn from the DISCOM in the following month, after accounting for any applicable banking charges. However, this will not apply to energy drawn during peak hours.
Any energy that remains banked and unused at the end of the financial year will expire. The renewable energy captive generating project will be eligible to receive Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the amount of lapsed energy.
Banking charges at the rate of 10% of banked energy would be payable and adjusted against the banked energy before the withdrawal.
Green Energy Tariff
Under the new regulations, consumers can choose to buy green energy for either a portion of their consumption or their total consumption.
They can request this from their distribution licensee, who will then procure the desired amount of green energy and supply it.
The new regulations allow consumers to have the flexibility to make separate requisitions for solar and non-solar energy.
The consumer may purchase, voluntarily, more renewable energy than he is obligated to do, and for ease of implementation, this may be in steps of 25% and going up to 100%.
The tariff for green energy shall be determined separately by the Commission through a separate order, considering various cost components of the DISCOM.
Any requisition for green energy from a distribution licensee will be for at least one year.
If a consumer buys green energy either from their DISCOM or from renewable energy sources other than the DISCOM and the amount exceeds the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) of the obligated entity, then this excess amount will be considered towards the DISCOM’s compliance with the RPO.
The DISCOM will provide the consumers with a green certificate every year for the green energy supplied by the licensee to the consumer on his request beyond the RPO of the consumers.
The provisions have been incorporated to promote the supply of power produced from non-fossil fuel-based waste-to-energy plants to the open access consumer and production of green hydrogen and ammonia
As per the amendment proposed by the Commission, a cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge will not be applicable if the power produced from a non-fossil fuel-based waste-to-energy project is supplied to open access consumers.
Also, the cross-subsidy surcharge will not be applicable if green energy is utilized to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.
In another regulation, the Commission has pointed out that the peak AC capacity of renewable energy captive generating projects should be, at most, the one agreed upon by the distribution companies (DISCOMs). The corresponding excess generation will lapse if the peak AC capacity exceeds the agreed limit.
Distributed Renewable Energy Generating Systems Regulations 2023
The Commission has also issued the ‘Grid Interactive Distributed Renewable Energy Generating Systems (First Amendment) Regulations, 2023.’
To promote new technology and research in the field of renewable energy and the promotion of rooftop generation systems in Rajasthan, the Commission has proposed the following amendments.
Under a new proposed regulation, renewable energy generating stations installed through net billing arrangements must not have a peak AC capacity that exceeds the agreed-upon capacity stated in the connection agreement. Any excess energy generated due to exceeding this limit will not be accounted for and will lapse.
When a domestic consumer exports more electricity than they import during a billing period, the DISCOM will purchase the excess electricity at a rate determined by the weighted average tariff of large-scale solar projects with a capacity of 5 MW or more that were discovered through competitive bidding in the previous financial year, plus 15%. If no such bidding was done in the last financial year, then the latest tariff discovered through competitive bidding plus 15% will be used instead.
For net metering consumers, the net imported energy from the grid shall be billed according to the applicable slab corresponding to the total consumption from all sources.
Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO)-owned renewable energy projects installed under the net-metering arrangement for domestic consumers, state government buildings, local bodies, and public undertakings of the state government will not be subject to a cross-subsidy surcharge or any additional surcharge.
Earlier, RERC had permitted net metering and net billing arrangement for grid-connected distributed renewable energy systems under the RESCO model.
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