We have written at length about how industries in Haryana are saving lakhs on electricity bills with rooftop solar, and how solar energy has been becoming more affordable in the state of Haryana. In order to push India closer to the ambitious 100GW installed solar capacity target, the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has issued an updated version of its regulations for rooftop solar grid-interactive systems to include net-metering facilities and provisions.
The Haryana solar policy changes by the HERC comes as a reaction to the petition filed by HAREDA (Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency) on the HERC 2014 Net Metering Regulations; seeking amendments in the policy in order for the state to meet its targets as per the ambitious solar targets set by the Government.
The Key Points from the HAREDA Petition included:
- Consumers should be allowed to sell excess generated power back to the utilities, with net-metering provisions
- Distribution transformers should be allowed up to 100% of its particular distribution transformer capacity for rooftop solar systems
- Consumers should be allowed to set-up solar projects higher than the sanctioned load if they have space and capacity to do so
- Open access consumers looking to set-up rooftop solar projects in their premises should be allowed to use net-metering facilities
- Banking facilities for grid-connected rooftop solar power systems
- Ability to carry forward excess energy generated through the solar system; from one billing cycle to the next, and even to the next financial year
- Exemption of wheeling and cross-subsidy charges for consumers under net-metering
The New Updates Included in Solar Net metering Policy in Haryana
In response, the HERC has issued an updated draft of regulations addressing the points raised by this petition. The following are the key changes/additions made to the policy in the state of Haryana:
- Consumers across all categories including residential, commercial and industrial are now allowed to set-up solar projects with a maximum capacity of 2 MW. However, this comes with the condition - solar projects within the range of 1 to 2 MW must have 25% battery storage that should be able to store and deliver energy for 2 hours.
- The distribution capacity of transformers have been increased to 50% and 30% for LT and HT consumers respectively, up from the earlier 30% and 15% transformer capacity that had been given to LT and HT consumers
- The DISCOMs will continue to provide net-metering arrangements to eligible consumers on a non-discriminatory and a first come first serve basis, as long as the total capacity of rooftop solar systems does not exceed 500 MW, up from the figure of 200 MW
- Rooftop solar systems commissioned under these regulations, whether self-owned or third-party-owned, will be exempted from all wheeling, cross-subsidy, transmission, cross-subsidy, transmission, and distribution, and banking charges and surcharges
Apart from the above conditions, the policy will not grant Open Access consumers the facility of net-metering. Furthermore, the excess energy generated by consumers can be carried forward from one billing cycle to the next, however, the policy does not allow for the excess energy to be carried over to the next financial year.
The updated solar net-metering policy changes by the HERC have mostly addressed the points brought up in the 2014 HAREDA petition, with the exception of net-metering for Open Access consumers. This is a step in the right direction for the state of Haryana, as this should help encourage the adoption of rooftop solar energy and help increase solar installations in the state. It goes without saying, that the stakeholders will have to be brought to paces with these new changes and the implementation will have to be done quickly to make the most of the policy changes. With that being said, there will need to be similar positive changes to solar net-metering policies across the country, in order to streamline and speed up the adoption of solar energy and meet the Government’s 2022 targets.