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APTEL Orders Solar Developers Entitled To Tariff Of Rs 7.01/kWh

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The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) decided in favor of a solar developer, declaring that the developer is entitled to a rate of Rs. 7.01/kWh since it completed its projects before the control period, i.e., on or before March 31, 2016.

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A subsidiary of Adani Green Energy (AGEL), Kamuthi Solar, proposed to build 216 MW of solar plants in the Sengapadai and Pudukottai villages in the Ramnad district in May 2015. Another AGEL subsidiary, Ramnad Renewable, has suggested building a 72 MW solar plant in the Ramnad district’s Karisalkulam village.

The developers informed Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) in June 2015 that if Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation (TANTRANSCO) was unable to commission the proposed 400 kV substation at Kamuthi in Ramnad District, they would not be entitled to any presumed generation or other advantages from TANGEDCO.

In response, TANGEDCO suggested building an 8-kilometer-long 110 kV line to connect the two proposed power plants and the new substation at 110 kV level. 

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Between the developers and TANGEDCO, a PPA was signed. According to it, developers had to complete their projects before March 31, 2016, in order to take advantage of the preferential tariff of Rs. 7.01/kWh announced by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC).

The project could not be finished since the evacuation facility was delayed, endangering the commissioning before the deadline of March 31, 2016, according to the Chief Electrical Inspector of the Government. 

Since their projects were ready for power evacuation, the developers asked the Chief Engineer to take an alternate plan into consideration and allow them to evacuate power through one circuit of the 100 and kV D/C Kamuthi substation to the new substation line.

TANGEDCO claimed that the projects weren’t ready for commissioning. Further, it stated that the developers had agreed that if the 400 kV Kamuthi substation was delayed, no deemed generation and no other benefits would be claimed, which, according to TANGEDCO, includes the Rs. 7.01/kWh rate.

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The developers reaffirmed that the projects were prepared for commissioning. Additionally, they felt wronged by TANGEDCO’s reluctance to supply grid energy and its failure to acknowledge the projects as having been completed before March 21, 2016.

However, APTEL mentioned that TANGEDCO was making a number of claims that the project wasn’t ready for commissioning without any supporting evidence in order to cover up its tardiness in delivering the evacuation facility. Further, it approved the developers’ claim that the projects were prepared before the control period.

The Tribunal determined that because Kamuthi Solar Power and Ramnad Renewable Energy started their projects ahead of the control period specified in TNERC’s directive, they were entitled to a rate of Rs. 7.01/kWh.

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