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States adopting penalties for deviation from generation for renewable energy

Solar and Wind generators in India usually forecast based on modeling, historical data, machine learning, and weather forecast. The most critical scheduling input comes from weather forecasting agencies. Energy forecasts are arrived at by combining plant availability with the weather forecasts for the location. Without accurate weather prediction, it is impossible for a renewable generator to submit accurate schedules.

Deviation settlement mechanisms (DSM) is a mechanism through which developers compensate electricity grid infrastructure providers for errors in forecasting and scheduling of power generated by their projects. If the error is more than 15%, then additional charges for deviation will be levied along with the fixed rate. With seasonal variations, the generation frequency of renewable changes drastically in a shorter period and deviation due to incorrect load forecast and conventional power projects not adhering to a schedule is higher than the variability due to the renewable energy sources, thus attracting a heavy penalty.  Forecasting in other months is less of an issue, but the deviation charges are heavy during the monsoon season. For future projections of a higher share of renewable, it is required to have a good forecast and appropriate balancing action.

The current forecasting scenario in India for generation forecasting is still at its nascent stage and difficult because of monsoons. Variable generation from renewable energy such as wind and solar together pose significant technical difficulties for grid management.  The government is also contemplating migration from 15-minute time-block to 5-minute time-block for the deviation settlement mechanism. The five-minute time block may result in revisions being more accurate compared to the 15-minute time block, but former on-the-ground realities have to be matched with regulations.