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Developers protest as Haryana limits solar transmission subsidy

BENGALURU: As renewable energy increasingly becomes mainstream with tariffs on par with those of conventional power, governments are gradually rolling back concessions extended to the sector. 

The Haryana power regulator has denied exemption for solar projects above 500 MW from a host of transmission-related charges. In most states, such charges are still waived for renewable power.  The Distributed Solar Power Association (DISPA), a group of rooftop solar developers, has filed a petition before the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), protesting the decision to deny exemption. 

The 500 MW limit is completely arbitrary and has been imposed without any consultation or public hearing,” its petition read. “Such a limitation acts as a barrier to achieving and unlocking the full benefit of solar power generation in the state, which is the true intent behind the commission’s order.” 

In July last year, Haryana announced it would waive these charges for ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects to encourage the growth of renewable energy in the state. However, HERC’s draft regulations issued a few months later said the exemption should apply only to an aggregate installed capacity of 500 MW. The Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) took the same position in its guidelines. 

DISPA has appealed to HERC against HAREDA’s guidelines.  After the guidelines came out, HAREDA asked stakeholders for their comments, to which DISPA had responded that the 500 MW limit should be removed. “However, till date, no final guidelines incorporating the suggestions of the stakeholders have been issued,” it said. 
Officials of HERC and HAREDA could not be reached for comment. 

DISPA said the 500 MW limit would hamper achieving the state’s renewable purchase obligation target – the mandatory minimum renewable energy capacity each state is required to have. In Haryana’s case, it needs to have 8% of its total power from solar sources by 2021-22. 

News Date: 21-Dec-2018

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