TPREL commissions 150 MW solar project in Rajasthan

Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL) has commissioned a 150 MW solar project at Pokharan, Rajasthan. The company had won the bid for this project at a tariff of Rs 2.72 per kWh in May 2018.  The power purchase agreement for this project has been signed with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company for a period of 25 years. The project is connected at 220 kV to Powergrid’s substation at Bhadla, making it the company’s first inster-state transmission system-connected project.

In recent months, Rajasthan has given a fresh impetus to tackle some of the policy and regulatory issues that are hindering renewable energy uptake in the state. In March 2019, the state government amended its net metering regulations for rooftop and other smaller solar power plants. In these regulations, the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has focused on domestic rooftop solar owners and proper energy accounting and settlement for all consumer categories. Domestic consumers are paid Rs 3.14 per kWh if net energy injected into the grid by them exceeds 100 units during the billing month; otherwise, they are paid in the next month once their total net energy generation reaches 100 units. The RERC has put a daily cap of 4.8 kWh of energy generation per kW of the approved installed capacity of rooftop solar systems for all consumer categories.

During the same month, the RERC released amendments to regulations for the determination of tariff for renewable energy. Under these regulations, the RERC will determine project-specific tariffs, for solar PV, solar thermal, wind and other renewable energy projects in the state. This will be done on a case-to-case basis, provided a petition is filed, accompanied by a fee and a detailed project report along with the cost break-up of the debt and equity components.

Apart from this, the RERC issued draft amendments to the 2017 regulations on the deviation settlement mechanism for grid-connected power in January 2019. These regulations, aimed at maintaining grid security, were formulated in line with the deviation settlement regulations put in place by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. Under these regulations, the deviation charges will not exceed the billed energy charges for the previous month, for projects whose tariff is determined by the RERC. For other projects, deviation charges, irrespective of the fuel source, will not exceed Rs 3.03 per kWh.

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