Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has provided a series of clarifications on the difficulties in implementing certain sections of the HERC (Green Energy Open Access) Regulations, 2023.
It was responding to a petition filed by Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVNL).
Applicability of imbalance charges
The petitioner raised concerns about the application of imbalance charges. While the HERC has provided clarity on the inapplicability of reliability charges for open access consumers, questions persist regarding the status of imbalance charges set to compensate power distribution companies (DISCOMs) on account of the unscheduled injection/drawal made by the solar power generators.
The Commission stated that while reliability charges will not apply for open access consumers, imbalance charge is applicable and will be governed by the DSM Regulations or Open Access Regulations.
Applicability of wheeling and transmission charges on captive solar projects
Regulation 68 of the HERC (Terms and Conditions for the Determination of Tariff from Renewable Energy Sources, Renewable Purchase Obligation, and Renewable Energy Certificate) Regulations, 2021, states that irrespective of other regulations set by the Commission, wheeling and transmission charges will be exempted throughout the project’s lifespan from the commissioning date.
This exemption applies to all captive solar power projects that have applied for registration with the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency, acquired land (either through purchase or lease for thirty years), and invested a minimum of ₹10 million (~$120,144) /MW in equipment and machinery by February 13, 2019.
However, under the Green OA Regulations, 2023, charges applicable to all green energy open access consumers encompass transmission and wheeling charges.
The Commission clarified that the exemption of transmission and wheeling charges on captive solar plants commissioned on or before February 13, 2019, provided under HERC RE Regulations 2021, will continue to be made applicable.
Timing of peak load hours
Regulation 7(4) of the Green Open Access Regulations, 2023, dictates the conditions for banking and drawal of power for renewable captive projects owned at least 26% by a single captive user. While banking is permitted throughout the billing cycle, the withdrawal of banked power is restricted during peak load hours, aligning with the Time-of-Day (ToD) tariff approved by the Commission.
For the 2023-24 financial year, the ToD tariff designates peak load hours from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, applicable to consumers opting for ToD/ToU Tariff/Night-time concessional tariff from UHBVN between November 2023 and March 2024.
However, for the imposition of Peak Load Energy Charges (PLEC), general instructions consider peak load hours from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM.
The Commission said that it is expressly provided in the HERC (Green Energy Open Access) Regulations that peak load hours will be as mentioned in the ToD tariff approved by the Commission.
Adjustment of banked energy
Regulation 7(5) of the Green OA Regulations, 2023, stipulates that renewable power adjustment for Green OA Consumers will be based on a first-charge basis in the order of energy consumption. The daily calculation of banked energy and energy drawal from the grid is conducted at the end of each day in a given month.
However, Regulation 7(1) emphasizes that banked energy cannot proceed to the next billing cycle. Any unutilized banked energy at the end of the billing cycle will lapse without any compensation, and the renewable energy generating station is entitled to renewable energy certificates for the lapsed banked energy.
The petition sought to know whether the banking is counted daily or in 15-minute slots. If it is the latter, the energy banked on the last day of the billing cycle can be utilized from the very next time slot of the same day.
The Haryana regulator said that HERC (Green Energy Open Access) Regulations that the banking will be counted on a daily basis for the monthly account, and the unutilized banked energy at the end of the billing cycle will lapse.
Injection /drawal of green energy
Regulation 4 outlines the eligibility criteria for green energy open access, specifying that the open access should be for a minimum of twelve time blocks of 15-minute intervals during a day, and the consumer should not change the quantum of power consumed through open access within these time blocks.
The petitioner raised the following questions:
The Commission said that the schedule drawal is to be considered for evaluating the eligibility condition for constant drawal of power for twelve-time blocks of 15-minute intervals.
It clarified that the condition of drawing continuous open access power for twelve time blocks of 15-minute intervals is applicable for the entire day and not to be repeated for change in power by a consumer in a day.
Renewable Energy Certificates
Regulation 4 outlines the eligibility criteria for Green Energy Open Access, specifying that the open access should be for a minimum of twelve-time blocks of 15-minute intervals during a day, and the consumer should not change the quantity of power consumed through open access within these time blocks.
The petitioner sought clarifications on various aspects of this regulation:
The Commission said that it is provided in the HERC (Green Energy Open Access) Regulations in vogue that a green energy certificate will be issued to consumers for green energy supplied to them beyond their RPO. The clarification sought regarding their eligibility for REC is beyond the scope of HERC (Green Energy Open Access) Regulations, 2023
In April, Haryana issued its Green Energy Open Access Regulations, 2023, in line with the Union government’s green energy open access rules introduced last year.
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