Delayed Solar Project: Gujarat Discom, GETCO Draw GERC’s Ire

Delayed Solar Project: Gujarat Discom, GETCO Draw GERC’s Ire Delayed Solar Project: Gujarat Discom, GETCO Draw GERC's Ire

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) in its latest judgement ordered the Gujarat discom-Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL) and govt entity Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO) to refund the amount charged to solar generators on account of delays.

The case was filed by Arka Energy, Aditya Energy and their clients jointly against UGVCL, GETCO and the Energy and Petrochemical Department of the Gujarat government. Arka Energy and Aditya Energy had partnered for setting up solar plants at Nani Chandur village in the Patan district of Gujarat. These two forms had come in contract with the respondents. 

The petitioners had earlier made an application to UGVCL to obtain an estimation for the evacuation of 1.71 MW of solar power from the plant’s 66 KV sub station at Patan. Later the two companies (petitioners) and the respondents-UGVCL and GETCO had signed an agreement for connectivity with 66 KV sub station with several conditions. The petitioners in their petition before the GERC said that later they were later informed that 11 Kv feeder panel procured by GETCO do not have 11 KV inbuilt PT and also protection requirement was different and hence instruction was given to arrange the panels on their own for the project, leading to delays. 

The petitioners also alleged several decisions from the respondents which led to a delay of five months in the commissioning of the project. In the meanwhile, the petitioners said that despite COVID pandemic and the delays and non-response from the respondents further escalated the situation. However, the petitioners expressed surprise at the notice of collection of several charges on account of delay in the project.

The GERC in its petition asked the respondents to return the collect charges. GERC admitted that the alleged callous approach of the respondents led to delay of the project. “The action of the Respondent No. 1 and 2 to recover the amount for 11 KV feeder panels from the Petitioners No. 1 and 2 and not providing the same for a long period i.e. from 29.01.2020 to 20.03.2022 and compelled the Petitioners to procure the same from their end and to install it  leading to delay in commissioning of the project. The Respondents are directed  to refund the amount of feeder panels received by them to the Petitioners…” the GERC order read. 

It also added, “…The delayed caused in commissioning of the plant from 03.03.2020 to 07.08.2020 due to non providing feeder panels by the Respondent after obtaining the amount for it and also due to restrcitions imposed by GoI & GoG to control Covid-19 pandemic effect, is qualified as force majeure event and the Petitioners are eligible for relief for such delay as force majeure event condition.”

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