The Central Transmission Utility of India Limited (CTUIL) sought to address issues concerning Renewable Power Park Developers’ (RPPD) connectivity applications under the Electricity Act, 2003. The CTUIL filed a petition to request the issuance of orders or directions for implementing General Network Access (GNA) provisions related to connectivity applications by RPPDs.
Regulation 5.5 of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) Connectivity and General Network Access Regulations, 2022, states that RPPDs must apply for connectivity corresponding to the authorized quantum determined by the Central or State Government. However, some authorized RPPDs, including MRS Buildvison Private Limited and Frugal Energy Private Limited, initially applied for connectivity for a lesser quantum than they were authorized for. Later, they applied for connectivity for the entire authorized quantum.
During the hearing held on October 10, 2023, the CERC expressed concerns about the CTUIL’s approach, highlighting those amending existing regulations is not the correct process. The CERC clarified that the authority to make, amend, or repeal regulations is vested in the Commission under Section 178 of the Electricity Act. Such actions should not be initiated through petitions; they should only occur when the Commission deems an amendment necessary.
In response to the CERC’s stance, the CTUIL requested permission to withdraw the petition while retaining the liberty to submit a comprehensive proposal regarding RPPDs’ eligibility to apply for connectivity for less than their authorized quantum.
The Commission granted the CTUIL permission to withdraw the petition and instructed its staff to review any future proposals submitted by the petitioner. Moreover, the Indian Wind Power Association and the National Solar Energy Federation of India were also permitted to submit their proposals and views concerning the eligibility of RPPDs to apply for connectivity in such cases.
The CERC’s decision reflects the importance of a thorough and considered approach when seeking amendments to existing regulations. It emphasizes that the statutory functions of a petitioner should align with the Commission’s mandate, and the process for amending or repealing regulations should only be initiated when there is a demonstrated need.
The energy sector in India continues to evolve, and the resolution of regulatory matters, such as those addressed in this petition, will play a vital role in shaping the future of renewable power development in the country. The Commission’s willingness to consider comprehensive proposals suggests a commitment to fostering a conducive regulatory environment for sustainable energy development.
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