CERC Rejects Renew Solar Petition Of Open Access Rights Against PGCIL

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Central Electricity Regulatory Commission(CERC) recently rejected the petition filed instant Petition against SECI, MNRE, Power System Operation Corporation Limited AND PGCIL with the following prayers: (a) Allow the present Petition; (b) Direct Power Grid Corporation of India to pre-disclose the Relinquishment Charges payable by the relinquishing entity before acceptance of its formal application seeking relinquishment of open access rights; and (c) Pass such other order(s) that this Hon’ble Commission may deem fit in the interest of equity and justice

The ReNew Solar Power Private Limited has filed the petition seeking direction to PGCIL to pre-disclose the relinquishment charges payable by the relinquishing entity before making an application seeking relinquishment of LTA. It has submitted that if relinquishment charges are known ex-ante rather than post facto which would enable the company to take an informed and businesslike decision. 

The commission stated that It has observed that the Petitioner has been granted LTA for 250 MW with connectivity at 400kV Bikaner S/s (Powergrid) for a period from 26.10.2019 to 25.10.2044, vide intimation dated 31.1.2019 and The LTA agreement was signed on 21.2.2019.

Regulation 18 of the Connectivity Regulations provides for relinquishment of long term access rights by an LTA customer.

The commission has provided a detailed methodology for carrying out the calculations and has asked Renew Solar to estimate as per the provided methodology based on available information in the public domain and any other information.

Commission clarified that pre-disclosure of relinquishment charges is necessary for renewable power projects since these projects are exempted from the payment of transmission charges by the Government of India and the contention of the Renew Solar is misplaced. 

It further clarified that, A renewable power project is exempted from payment of transmission charges and losses for use of transmission systems, only if it satisfies the conditions of the waiver of transmission charges and losses. However, there is no exemption from payment of relinquishment charges either for a conventional generator or a renewable energy generator and the same shall be payable following Regulation 18 of the Connectivity Regulations and past Order of the Commission.

The commission did not find any merit in the above petition and hence rejected the petition.

Recently, 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 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.”

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