The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) has amended the regulations for cogeneration and generation of electricity from renewable sources. The total renewable purchase obligations (RPO) for entities such as discoms and captive plant owners in West Bengal are 12 per cent, 14.5 per cent and 17 per cent for the years 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24, respectively. As per the amendments, the solar as well as non-solar RPO compliance should be at least 85 per cent, while the shortfall can be compensated by non-solar sources for solar and vice-versa. Further, the power withdrawn by an open access consumer above its RPO and power generated under a net metering arrangement can be used to meet the RPOs of the discom. WBERC has invited comments and suggestions from various stakeholders by September 25, 2020.
Recently, some discoms have been struggling with meeting their RPO requirements for the stipulated time period. To this end, certain state regulatory commissions have tried to help the situation. For instance, Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) issued an order giving extension to relevant entities for meeting their RPOs for the financial year 2020 by November 30, 2020. Earlier in June 2020, as a one-time measure, the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission waived RPO backlogs up to 2019 for state discoms amid the Covid-19 crisis. This followed a review of state discoms’ RPO targets and their achievements, which showed a huge backlog. However, due to the unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic and to avoid extra expenses, the commission decided to waive the backlog. It directed state discoms to achieve higher generation as RPOs are only the required benchmark capacity.