Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has recently drafted APERC Renewable Power Purchase Obligation Regulations, 2022, which details the obligation to purchase renewable energy and the compliance by purchasing renewable power or renewable energy certificates for the next five years.
The new regulation will take effect on April 1, 2022, and will be in force from fiscal year 2022-23 to 2026-27.
To keep up with changes in the renewable energy industry, APERC modifies the regulations every five years. The previous APERC Renewable Power Purchase Obligation Regulations, 2017, which specified distribution companies’ renewable purchase obligations (RPO) from April 2017 to March 2022, are slated to expire this month-end.
According to the draft regulation, every DISCOM must purchase renewable energy at the tariffs determined by the Commission or at tariffs discovered through a transparent bidding process and approved by the Commission.
The electricity generated by rooftop solar systems under net metering scheme can also qualify towards the DISCOM's solar RPO.
If DISCOMS want the energy generated by rooftop solar systems to be considered toward meeting their RPO, they should install solar generation meters that comply with the applicable CEA Regulations at appropriate location.
In addition, the DISCOM's RPO can also be met by unutilized banked energy purchased from renewable energy projects under open access standards for which the generator does not claim renewable energy certificates (RECs).
After obtaining a solar RPO of 85% or more, the remaining shortfall can be covered by non-solar energy utilized in excess of the non-solar RPO for that year. Similarly, if other non-solar RPO compliance is achieved to 85% or above, the remaining gap can be covered by extra solar energy utilized beyond the year's solar RPO.
As for the consequence of default, if a DISCOM fails to meet its RPO, the Andhra Pradesh State Load Dispatch Center (APSLDC) should notify the DUSCOM to deposit cash into a separate fund. The APSLDC will oversee the creation and the maintenance of this fund, which will be used to purchase RECs.