Tamil Nadu issues draft solar policy

The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) has issued the Draft Solar Energy Policy for the year 2018 to promote both solar photovoltaic (PV) energy and solar thermal energy in the state.

Key features of the policy are:

  • Tamil Nadu will aim at installing solar energy generation capacity of 8,884 MW by 2022. Of this target, 40 per cent will be met by consumer-scale solar generators.
  • Penalties, as specified by Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC), will be levied on discoms failing to comply with renewable energy purchase obligations (RPO) mandates.
  • Solar energy will be exempted from electricity tax, grid connectivity, open access, wheeling, and banking and cross-subsidy charges.
  • Gross and net feed-in solar tariffs will be determined by TNERC after considering different capital costs, based on the solar system capacity. Moreover, a dedicated solar energy storage feed-in tariff will be determined by TNERC to incentivise solar energy export to the grid at peak demand hours.
  • Any building type that requires being ECBC-compliant will follow the ECBC compliance guidelines for the installation of solar PV and solar thermal energy systems. Moreover, all public buildings have to meet 30 per cent of their energy requirements from solar energy by 2022.
  • All state government departments will have to replace 10 per cent of their existing vehicle fleet with solar powered electric vehicles by 2022.
  • Suitable incentive and programs will be developed by the government agencies to promote solar energy generation in the agricultural sector.
  • Solar energy imported by distribution licensees from non-obligated solar energy producers (including electricity consumers with gross or net feed-in facilities) can be claimed towards fulfilment of the distribution licensee’s RPO.
  • The state government will identify land for the development of solar manufacturing and a single window process for all departmental approvals, including a set time limit for each approval will be designed.
  • From April 2019 onwards, all new service connection meters in Tamil Nadu will be configured with bidirectional energy recording and display features to make them ready for effecting solar energy net metering at any time in the future.

According to Mercom India, currently Tamil Nadu has an installed solar capacity of 2.2 GW, ranking fifth among Indian states for solar installations.

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