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CERC Rejects AEPL’s Plea To Extend LTA Operationalization Date Of 300 MW Solar Project

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CERC Rejects AEPL’s Plea To Extend LTA Operationalization Date Of 300 MW Solar Project

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Avaada Energy Private Limited (AEPL) and Avaada Sustainable RJ Project Private Limited (ASRJPPL), the petitioners, have filed a plea against Central Transmission Utility of India Limited (CTUIL) to request that the commencement date of Long Term Access (LTA) given to AEPL’s be extended from 23.8.2021 to 12.5.2022.

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Earlier, for a 300 MW solar power project in Bikaner, Rajasthan, SECI held competitive bidding, and AEPL was chosen as the winning bidder.

A Transmission Agreement for Connectivity between AEPL and CTUIL was signed on 7.7.202020, and a supplemental agreement was signed on 12.2.2021. On 8.6.2020, ASRJPPL and SECI signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the provision of the agreed-upon 300 MW. The Scheduled Commercial Operation Date (SCOD) for the same was 11.11.2021.

Further, following a decision by MNRE to prolong the SCOD for the whole interruption caused by the COVID-19 second surge, from 1.4.2021 to 15.6.2021, SECI extended the SCOD to 12.5.2022 in a letter dated 23.8.2021.

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According to AEPL, in its letter dated 10.1.2022, the company asked CTUIL to extend the LTA operationalization date for the 300 MW capacity up to 12.5.2022, which is the project’s extended SCOD. CTUIL, however, made no response to it.

However, SECI had certified the partial commissioning of 150 MW capacity, with the first 100 MW certified on 14.1.2022 and the remaining 50 MW certified on 7.2.2022.

And, according to a Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) regulation, transmission costs and losses are not applicable to solar power projects that were awarded through a competitive bidding procedure and declared commercial operations between 13.2.2018 and 31.12.2022.

So, on the basis of the start date of LTA being 23.04.2022, AEPL has also requested the issuance of an interim injunction restraining CTUIL from taking any coercive or precipitative actions, including the imposition of any penalties or fines for the non-operationalization of 150 MW of the total 300 MW.

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However, the project’s 150 MW of its 300 MW have already been operationalized. Therefore, the petitioner is not required to make any payments.

The Commission noticed that AEPL asked in a letter dated 10.1.2022 that CTUIL prolong the date of LTA operationalization. However, CERC doesn’t permit an extension of the LTA’s operationalization date.

Additionally, the CERC has also rejected the argument that “Solar Power Projects” won in a competitive bidding process, with SCOD declared between 13.2.2018 and 31.12.2022, are not responsible for paying transmission fees and losses.

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