HPERC proposes new generic levelised tariff for solar projects

The Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) is in the process of determining the generic levelised tariff framework for solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects for the fiscal year 2023-24, which extends from October 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. This effort is part of the HPERC’s 2017 regulations pertaining to the “Promotion of Generation from Renewable Energy Sources and Terms and Conditions for Tariff Determination”. The HPERC initially introduced these regulations in November 2017 and has periodically updated them, with the most recent revisions taking effect on October 1, 2023. These regulations define the financial guidelines for renewable energy technologies during the fourth control period, which spans from October 1, 2023, to March 31, 2027.

HPERC has classified solar PV plants and set technological standards for the financial year 2023-24. These standards will be in effect from October 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, and their primary objective is to ensure equitable and efficient tariff calculation. Solar PV projects have been divided into three groups based on their capacity. The first group covers projects with a capacity of up to 1 MW. For second category of up to 5 MW, distribution licensees will be required to procure power on the basis of competitive bidding or the Solar Energy Corporation of India. While projects with more than 5 MW capacity will fall into the third category. In the financial year 2023-24, the commission is considering a normative cost of Rs 11.743 million per MW for solar PV modules. To accommodate various factors, this cost will be increased by 15 per cent. As a result, the projected average base price for solar PV modules is estimated at Rs 13.505 million per MW. The base cost of other components will remain same at Rs 216.30 per MW. With these computations, the anticipated capital cost for the project during this period amounts to Rs 35.135 million per MW.

The capacity utilisation factor is set at 21 per cent by the commission. The total electricity generation will be adjusted downward by 1.45 per cent to accommodate auxiliary consumption, transformation losses, and losses in the project’s transmission lines up to the point of interconnection. The suggested standard levelised tariff for solar PV power projects pertains to those that directly convert solar energy into electricity through approved technologies. This tariff does not consider capital subsidies, incentives, grants, or financial support from the budget. Any necessary adjustments will be made in accordance with the regulations.

The applicability of this tariff is contingent on the date of a joint petition for the approval of power purchase agreements. In cases where the joint petition is submitted after October 1, 2023, but before March 31, 2024, the tariff will be relevant for commissioned capacities up to March 31, 2025. In other situations where it is necessary to consider the generic levelised tariff for 2023-24, the commission has laid out specific provisions. This tariff does not apply when distribution licensees procure power through the Solar Energy Corporation of India or through competitive bidding. Additionally, it is not applicable to solar PV projects installed by consumers on their premises under the net metering scheme.