MNRE Allows SERCs To Conduct Virtual Hearing

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The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has recently passed an order to State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) in regards to allow the online listing of petitions and start hearing of petitions through video conferencing.

The Renewable Power Developers have submitted to this Ministry that due to the extended nationwide lock-down in the wake of COVID-19, State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) have postponed listing and hearing of the petitions. Renewable Power Developers have emphasized on the need for timely filing and disposal of petitions in SERC and have submitted that any delay in relief from the SERCs will adversely affect the financial viability of their projects. 

The developers have cited the precedence of Hon’ble Supreme Court, High Courts, and Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) starting the online listing and hearing of urgent matters and have requested this Ministry to issue advisory to all State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) to allow filing and listing of petitions online and hear urgent matters through video conferencing.  

MNRE stated, “To provide support to the renewable sector in regularizing the matters at State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) and safeguard the ongoing investment in the country, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) hereby requests all the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) to kindly consider allowing filing and listing of petitions online and hear urgent matters through video conferencing.”

This issue was passed with the approval of the Secretary of MNRE. 

Recently, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the nodal Ministry of the Government of India has drafted guidelines and model PPA for Implementation of Off-Grid Solar Power Plants in the RESCO model under MNRE Programme – for comments of stakeholders. Under the Phase III of Off-grid and Decentralized Solar PV Applications Programme of MNRE, off-grid solar power plants of individual size up to 25 kWp can be installed in areas where grid power has not reached or is not reliable. Such plants are mainly aimed at providing electricity to Government schools, hostels, panchayats, police stations, and other public service institutions. Recently the Scheme has been extended up to 31.3.2021 and applicable only for North-eastern States for installation of off-grid solar PV plants through RESCO mode with Central financial assistance (CFA) of 90% of the benchmark cost of the system.

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