Gujarat notifies guidelines for small-scale distributed solar projects

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The projects to be set up under Gujarat’s Policy for Development of Small-scale Distributed Solar Projects 2019 shall be exclusively for sale of power to state utility Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) or its distribution licensees for fulfillment of their renewable purchase obligation.

The policy allows solar projects in capacities ranging from 0.5 MW to 4 MW—provided that irrespective of the aggregate DC capacity of all the solar modules to be deployed in the project, the rated AC power output of the inverter shall not exceed the contracted AC capacity. Further, during the entire life span of the solar plant, at no given point within a 15-minutes time slot, the injection into the grid shall exceed the contracted AC capacity as mentioned in the power purchase agreement.

Application

Eligible entities are required to approach the local power distribution utility (DISCOM) with the application. The DISCOM, in consultation with Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO), shall undertake the project’s technical feasibility study as per connectivity regulations laid out by Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission and determine interconnection point within 30 days of the receipt of complete applications. It shall then forward the application to Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) along with a copy of technical feasibility confirmation.

GEDA shall process the applications within 15 days of the receipt of the application and issue registration certificate to the project developer. Developers are required to pay a non-refundable processing fee of Rs 5 per KW plus GST along with the application for registration of the project with GEDA.

PPA and commissioning

GUVNL or DISCOMs shall sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) for projects registered with GEDA, wherein developers are required to declare commissioning period of 12 months from the date of the signing of PPA.

The GUVNL/DISCOMs, beginning from 2019 shall announce the average tariff discovered at which the PPAs are to be signed, in addition to the 20 paise per unit as per the provisions of the policy on a six-monthly basis.

The electricity generated from the solar plant and fed to the grid at the interconnection point shall be metered by GETCO/DISCOM on monthly basis, which shall form the basis for the payment of the electricity fed at the rate agreed in the PPA.

The developer is required to deposit a performance bank guarantee of Rs 5 lakh/MW to GUVNL or DISCOM, which shall be refunded to him upon successful commissioning of the plant on or before the scheduled date. In case of delay in commissioning of the plant, liquidated damages of Rs 3000 per MW per day, subject to a ceiling of Rs 5 lakh/MW, shall be levied on the delayed capacity, which shall be recovered (by GUVNL/DISCOMs) from the bank guarantee.

Land and connectivity

As per the policy, no government land shall be allotted for the project. In cases where the land is an agriculture land and an application has been made for its conversion to non-agriculture, GEDA shall take up commissioning only upon submission of the non-agriculture use permission by the applicant.

Further, it shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant to bear the capital cost of the project including the cost of setting up the transmission/electrical line from the plant site to the interface point at the GETCO Substation, etc.