Predominantly, an agricultural and industrial state in North India, Haryana is home to several large cities of industrial and commercial importance like Gurgaon, Faridabad, Chandigarh and more. Well known for its numerous manufacturing plants, Haryana is ranked as one of the most economically developed states in the country. A large section of the state belongs to the NCR (National Capital Region) corridor that has seen significant industrial growth in the last decade.
Haryana’s Solar Highlights
Haryana is one of the fastest growing states when it comes to solar energy production in North India. Several corporations including Amazon, Mahindra, Vatika Group, Showa India, Botil Oil Tools, Fortis Healthcare amongst others have installed rooftop solar plants in their respective plants in the state.
Govt. of India has set an ambitious target of 100 GW of solar power in the country by 2022. According to the Dept of Renewable Energy, Govt of Haryana, the state of Haryana has set a target of 3200 MW of solar power to be generated by the year 2021-22. The current installed and commissioned solar capacity of the state is 73.27 MW.
The HAREDA (Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency) is undertaking several projects to boost the production of solar power in the state like installing a solar plant of capacity 45KW in Haryana Raj Bhawan, and smaller solar plants of capacities 4.5KW at district collectorates around the state. One of Haryana’s mass rapid public transport systems, Rapid Metro in Gurugram has set up a solar power plant with a capacity of 403 kW on site.
Apart from these, the state is also focusing on boosting solar production with solar water heating schemes, solar cookers, street lighting run by solar power, solar water pumps, solar home lighting and more. The state government also offers a 90% subsidy to farmers who use solar water pumps.
Principle Haryana Solar Power Policy 2016 developed by the HAREDA specifies the guidelines for solar policy in the state – both for rooftop solar projects and ground-mounted solar plants. The policy provides the framework for expansion of solar power projects in the state, along with providing details of implementation and listing the RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligations).
Principle Policy allured private investors in the state to put investments on large scale ground mounted open access solar projects for retail consumers in the state. Policy provided promotional exemption on all open access charges i.e., cross-subsidy charges, wheeling charges, transmission and distribution charges, and surcharges for third party and captive energy sale within the state. It also provisioned exemption on stamp duty and electricity duty.
However, due to lack of proper direction of State Regulators on the basis of Policy, very few solar projects have been installed till date. After three year has been passed, HAREDA decided to amend the principle solar policy 2016.
Key Takeaways of Haryana’s Revised Solar Power Policy:
- Only Captive Solar Power Projects shall be eligible for promotional benefits on open access charges.
- Eligibility determined on the basis of minimum investment of Rs. one crore per Mega Watt for purchase of equipments & machinery to set up solar plant and have submitted applications to HAREDA for registration of project, purchased land or have taken land on lease for thirty years till 13th February, 2019.
- No waiver of wheeling and transmission charges, cross subsidy surcharges and additional surcharges has been granted to solar power Projects set up for third party sale.
The solar policy of Haryana allows heavy consumers (generally industries and manufacturing plants with loads over 1MW) to purchase solar power from the open market at the most affordable prices. Instead of buying power from the state-owned power plant, commercial and industrial consumers can buy solar power from the open market. Present amendment will sloth the growth of solar and RE investments in the state.
What’s on the Cards for Haryana’s Solar Future?
With nearly 330 sunny days in a year, Haryana has great potential for solar energy production. With incentives and the right policy support by the state government, the state is all set to increase its solar energy production in the next few years.
The revised Solar Power Policy of 2016 and the amendments made to it in 2019 are predicted to reduce the number and capacity of solar power projects in the state. Additionally, the amendment to the policy pulled out the right framework for proper implementation and support to solar project developers.