APTEL Leans With Rajasthan Solar Park Developer On Jurisdiction Issue

In an interesting judgement on the rights and powers of Solar Park Developers in states, the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), in an order yesterday, has laid down the operating rules for such situations.

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The tribunal was acting on a plea by the Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan Limited, which runs the Bhadla Solar park, against the state regulatory commission (RERC) and solar developer Acme Solar. State discom RVPN was also made a respondent to the dispute.

Saurya Urja was aggrieved over the order of the RERC directing it to ensure smooth flow of power from ACME’s generation plant inside the solar park, where the Solar Park owner (Saurya Urja) had effectively asked for a curtailment. Thus, the first issue whether the State Commission has the jurisdiction in the subject matter to adjudicate disputes between a Generating Company and a Solar Power Park Developer under section 86 of the Electricity Act, 2003?
The second issue it raised was whether the SPPD has the powers to direct the SPD (the Solar Generators), located within the Solar Park developed by the SPPD, to restrict power generated under the provisions of the ISA to the maximum permissible capacity, if it exceeds?

As a solar park developer does not qualify as a licensee or generating firm, and even its transmission responsibility is limited to within the solar park, such a dispute falls outside the state regulators purview, APTEL decreed. The agreement between the SPPD and the developer clearly lays down a process, where disputes have to be resolved by SECI eventually.

APTEL also recognised the SPPD’s right to limit injection to the grid of not over 100 MW, as a higher injection could damage its own transformers. With that, it accepted the plea for setting aside the order of the State Regulator.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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