MNRE asks Haryana to honour renewable energy contracts

BENGALURU: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has urged Haryana to honour signed renewable energy contracts and provide them the connectivity they need to start transmitting power.

In recent months, Haryana has been reluctant to give connectivity to 1000 MW of ‘open access’ solar projects whose construction it had earlier okayed. As a result, these projects are being denied formal approval, industry sources told ET.

Open access projects are those where developers supply power to customers directly and not to a power distribution company (discom).

However, since they use the grid, they need the discom’s permission to do so. Although the government has been encouraging open access projects, there has been much resistance to them from discoms (including those government owned) all over the country because discoms lose revenue if power is transmitted directly.

There are three stages of consent to open access transmission – provisional connectivity, final connectivity and final interconnection agreement. 1000MW of projects in Haryana are stuck in various stages of consent.

“Continuously from last two years renewable energy developers are being asked to invest and develop solar projects in Haryana, and then their investments and projects are imposed with newer conditions and are cancelled, making huge loss to them,” said MNRE’s letter dated April 15.

“The undersigned is directed to forward herewith the aforesaid letter of Connect Solar and to convey that, all agreements/ contracts once signed, should be sacrosanct and honoured unless a case of malafide or corruption has been proved,” it said.

MNRE’s letter had attached with it a representation made by Connect Solar, an association consisting of solar developers of Haryana. “Initially in the name of wrongly anticipated technical and economic impact of renewable on system and state, later on by changing entire definitions, connections are being denied after making massive investments in the state in land and solar infrastructure,” the letter said.

The Distributed Solar Power Association, a group of rooftop solar developers told ET in March that they are likely to file a petition on the issue before the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission.

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