The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in New Delhi has considered a petition (Petition No. 97/AT/2023) filed by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003. The petition seeks the adoption of a tariff for a 15 MW floating Solar PV Project connected to the BBMB Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS). The project was selected through a competitive bidding process based on the Standard Bidding Guidelines dated 3.8.2017.
The BBMB, a government entity constituted under the Punjab Re-Organisation Act, 1966, is responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of Bhakra-Nangal & Beas Projects. The board aims to contribute to the National Solar Mission by setting up solar power plants and utilizing surplus vacant land, water bodies, and rooftops.
The petition involves a request for the adoption of a tariff rate of Rs. 3.26/kWh to be recovered by the Floating Solar PV Developer (FSPD) from the BBMB upon the commissioning of the awarded capacity. The BBMB has already signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the successful bidder, SJVN Green Energy Limited (SPV/Project Company of SJVNL Limited).
The CERC analyzed the scope of the Solar Guidelines and noted that they are intended for long-term procurement of electricity from grid-connected Solar PV Power Projects of 5 MW and above through competitive bidding. The guidelines define “Procurer” as the distribution licensees, authorized representatives, or intermediary procurers. The authorized representative is responsible for carrying out the bidding process and signing the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) on behalf of the procurer.
In this case, the BBMB, as the petitioner, has entered into a PPA with SJVN Green Energy Limited (SGEL) for the procurement of power from the 15 MW floating Solar Power Project. However, the BBMB does not qualify as an intermediary procurer or distribution licensee under the Solar Guidelines. Instead, it acts as a representative and operator of the participating states and their electricity boards/licensees.
Considering the unique role assigned to the BBMB under the Punjab Re-Organisation Act, 1966, and the fact that the sale/supply of electricity is limited to the partner/beneficiary states and their assigned utilities/distribution licensees, the CERC has admitted the petition. The BBMB has been directed to include the utilities/distribution licensees of the partner/beneficiary states and SECI (as the authorized representative) as parties to the petition.
The CERC has requested the BBMB and SECI to provide additional details and information related to the bidding process, evaluation committee, and adherence to the Solar Guidelines. The parties involved are required to file their responses and replies within specific timelines.
The next hearing on the petition is scheduled for 16th August 2023.
This petition reflects the growing interest in solar energy projects and the efforts made by government bodies to meet renewable energy targets and contribute to environmental sustainability.