Haryana announces draft solar power policy 2023

The Haryana New and Renewable Energy Department has released the draft ‘Haryana Solar Power Policy, 2023’ with a big focus on rooftop solar projects, ground-mounted solar, and solarisation of irrigation. The department has set a target to install a combined capacity of 6,000 MW by 2030 in Haryana. The new policy aims to install 1,600 MW of solar power generated from rooftop installations, 3,200 MW from ground-mounted solar plants, and an additional 1,200 MW from the solarisation of irrigation pumps. The primary objectives of the policy are to boost the contribution of solar energy in Haryana’s power mix, foster involvement from the private sector, incorporate new technologies, and promote the integration of solar power in the agricultural sector.

The forthcoming draft policy is set to replace the state’s existing 2016 solar power policy. In contrast to the prior policy, which did not address battery storage, the new policy explicitly focuses on the inclusion of solar power projects in the state, with or without storage systems, and the integration of solar projects with other renewable resources, such as hybrid projects. The draft policy promotes the implementation of large-scale solar projects specifically on canal tops, banks, and other water bodies. Additionally, the new policy highlights the potential for government subsidies on storage systems for utility-scale solar power projects intended for supplying power to distribution companies (discoms).

The new policy has retained the provision of allocating 20 per cent of the total capacity of ground-mounted MW-scale solar power projects for small generators with capacities up to 2 MW. The base tariff will be set at the minimum competitive rate, as determined through the bidding process. Furthermore, the policy stipulates that there will be no restrictions on the installation of solar power plants by entities for their own consumption. These plants may be established at any location in India where benefits can be availed through open access.

The policy incorporates both net metering and gross metering arrangements. The policy also outlined that the maximum rated capacity of a rooftop solar system installed by any consumer should not exceed their connected load for low-tension connections and their contract demand for high-tension connections. The state government is also exploring the possibility of providing a capital subsidy to incentivise the adoption of rooftop solar installations.

The Haryana government also intends to encourage the deployment of decentralised and offgrid applications and develop solar-powered EV charging stations. Furthermore, in cities where customers do not have access to sufficient roof space, the state will support innovative billing systems like group virtual metering and virtual metering. Additionally, cross-subsidy charges, additional surcharges, and wheeling charges are not applicable if the generated solar power is used on the premises.