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The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has passed an order for granting regulatory approval to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) for the execution of the transmission system for solar energy zones (SEZ) in Rajasthan.
The Petition was filed by the Petitioner, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) against under Section 38(2) of the Electricity Act, 2003 read with Section 79(1)(c) and 79(1)(k) of the said Act for grant of Regulatory approval for execution of the transmission system for Solar Energy Zones in Rajasthan. The Petitioner has made the following prayers: “(a) Grant Regulatory approval for taking up the implementation of the identified transmission system; (b) Grant of approval for recovery of transmission charges of the assets through CERC (Sharing of Transmission charges and losses for ISTS) Regulations, 2010 and its amendment(s) notified by CERC from time to time; and (c) Grant of approval for inclusion of the above system under the TSA notified by CERC.”
The Government of India has set a target for establishing 175 GW renewable capacity by 2022 which includes 100 GW Solar, 60 GW Wind, 10 GW Bio-Power, and 5 GW small hydro generation capacities. For the fulfillment of this ambitious target of 175 GW renewable capacity, the PGCIL has planned development of transmission capacity for 66.5 GW Renewable Energy through potential Solar Energy Zones (SEZs) and potential Wind Energy Zones (WEZs) in 7 nos. RE rich States identified by SECI/ MNRE. These identified RE rich states are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
Out of the aforementioned 66.5 GW, the above Petition involves the execution of the transmission system associated with 11.1 GW of RE potential in Solar Energy Zones in Rajasthan. PGCIL claims that out of that instant 11.1 GW capacity, the transmission system for 3.0 GW capacity is to be built under the intra-State system by Rajasthan while rest 8.1 GW capacity has to be built as ISTS.PGCIL has also submitted the details of the revised EHVAC scheme, its justification, estimated cost and its tariff impact, results of the system studies, study assumptions, stakeholder consultation/ approval details, etc. on its website on 20.09.2019.
The Central Government has, as a part of 175 GW, set a target for the addition of 66.5 GW of RE and there is an immediate need to construct transmission lines for evacuation of REpower. In terms of this, the CTU/ CEA has prepared a plan for the development of transmission lines that should precede the RE generation projects. These have been placed before the respective Standing Committees and Regional Power Committees for consideration and approval. Out of the projected 66.5 GW RE generation, the development of the transmission system associated with 8.1 GW is involved in the State of Rajasthan that is the subject matter of the instant Petition.
The key differences in the Project Inception Report filed by CTU in the instant
Petition vide main Petition and vide latest affidavit dated 18.11.2019 after finalization of the scheme for the Regulatory Approval are mentioned below:
The PGCIL vide affidavit dated 25.2.2020 has submitted the details regarding applications received for Stage-II Connectivity and LTA applications for both Phase-I and IItransmission system jointly, which is as follows:
CERC directed that PGCIL shall ensure that the transmission system is taken up for implementation matching with the progress of generation projects also it should upload the elements of the scheme on the website for stakeholder’s comments and discuss the same in RPC meetings before taking up these elements for execution.
The order stated that “The transmission charges for transmission system approved herein shall be recovered as per CERC (Sharing of inter-state transmission charges and losses) Regulations, 2010 or CERC (Sharing of inter-state transmission charges and losses) Regulations, 2020, as applicable, after the associated generating stations achieve COD. In case of a mismatch between the date of commercial operation of generating station and transmission system, the liability of payment of transmission charges shall be governed by Regulation 6 of CERC (Terms and Conditions of Tariff) Regulations, 2019. In case the generating stations as envisaged do not materialize and transmission system is commissioned, CTU may seek appropriate remedies such as grants and/or subsidies from Central/ State Governments till the associated generating stations achieve COD. CTU may also approach the Commission for appropriate relief and directions.”
It is also mentioned that CTU shall submit quarterly progress reports as regards the execution of the approved transmission scheme to the Ministry of Power, GOI, and CEA. The report shall contain the pace of construction of transmission systems and the extent of LTAs granted and the PPAs signed.