New Kerala solar policy puts strong emphasis on distributed generation
The State Government of Kerala has published a draft solar policy, making it the ninth Indian state to do so.
Under the draft policy, the state if targeting 500-MW of installed solar power generating capacity by 2017 and 1.5-GW by 2030. Kerela already has a 10,000-rooftop solar power program in place.
According to Bridge To India, Kerala’s policy is unique in its focus on distributed power generation. Until now, all Indian state and central solar policies have emphasized utility scale projects.
Unlike the off-grid capital subsidy scheme under India’s National Solar Mission, Kerela says it will incentivize distributed solar through feed-in tariffs. It will also employ net-metering and a focus on protocols to improve the quality of the grid (especially community grids that would be integrated with the state’s "no load-shedding"-campaign) to support implementation of the distributed power policy.
Like Tamil Nadu, Kerala is also aiming to pass the financial burden of Renewable Purchase Obligations from the state-owned distribution company to large power consumers.
New Solar Procurement Obligations (SPOs) will be mandated for commercial consumers with a connected load of more than 20-kVA and industrial consumers with more than 50-kVA on the low-tension transmission network, and all companies connected to the high-tension and extra high-tension network. They will be obliged to get 3 percent of their power from solar until March 2014 and 6 percent from April 2014 onwards.
According to the Kerela’s solar power roadmap SPOs will, in the future, also apply to domestic customers using more than 500-kWh per month.