CERC Agrees With Tata Motors, Allows One time Relaxation For Issue of RECs

In an interesting order published yesterday, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has provided relief to Tata Motors (petitioner), on a plea the latter made against the respondent, National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) in  the matter of issuance of the Renewable Energy Certificates to the Petitioner for the specified period.

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The Issue:

Tata Motors, which owns and operates 21.95 MW Wind energy generating stations in Maharashtra had applied to NLDC as the issuing authority for REC’s, (Renewable Energy Certificates) for the power generated by it. NLDC had rejected its claims for a period in 2015-16 on the grounds of delay in submission of application beyond the 6 months period stipulated in the rules. Even as Tata Motors contended that the delay was caused by delay in grant of Open Access (OA) permissions by another entity, MSEDCL in the dame period. Thus, the firm had asked for condoning the delay, being beyond its control.

Open access permission to the Petitioner for the period from April 2015 to October 2015 was withheld by MSEDCL, thereby requiring the Petitioner to file Petition No. 88/2016 before MERC. MERC vide its Order dated 18.12.2017 directed MSEDCL to grant open access to the Petitioner for captive use of its wind energy for the aforesaid period and to issue credit notes for energy injected during the said period.

Similarly, for the period from 05.11.2015 to 31.03.2016, MSEDCL granted open access permission to the Petitioner belatedly on 21.03.2016. On receipt of the open access permissions, credit reports, REC proforma and EIRs from MSEDCL, the Petitioner approached SLDC, Maharashtra for obtaining/ certification of EIRs as required for the issuance of RECs. However, by the time such EIRs were received by the Petitioner, the stipulated period of six months had already elapsed.

As the online application system did not accept applications beyond 6 months from production. Interestingly, the SLDC didnot respond to the contentions made by Tata Motors in its petition.

CERC Reasoning

The CERC, while acknowledging that the law dies not give the agencies involved any leeway in being flexible, concurred with Tata Motors contention that it was not to blame, and as an exception, allowed issue of RECs for the concerned period of April 2015-March 2016 after due verification of the documents. It was clarified that the order is being passed in the backdrop of peculiar facts and circumstances and not to be quoted as a precedent.

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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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