UERC Extends Commissioning Timeline for 200 MW Solar PV Projects

These Solar PV Projects Were Awarded by UREDA in 2019

The Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) through a Suo Motto order has provided relief to solar PV project developers in Uttarakhand. Considering the scenario created due to COVID19 the UERC has specified that projects totaling 200 MW awarded by the Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA) can reach completion maximum by March 31, 2021.

Few solar PV project developers had approached the UERC regarding delay in implementation of Solar PV projects on account of COVID19 pandemic that has affected the global supply chain across the world for the solar power projects. Some of the developers had sought 10% tariff enhancement.

Upon being questioned by UERC regarding extension of project commissioning timeline, UREDA and UPCL responded that they had no issues regarding extension of timeline in light of novel circumstances. In its response, UPCL also submitted that it will separately approach the UERC for exemption/reduction of its solar targets for FY 2020-21 as some of the projects will not be commissioned as per existing timelines.

After going through submissions made by parties, UERC was of the view that pandemic situation is still going on and ongoing monsoon season will last up to September 2020 in Uttarakhand specially in hilly areas.

The UERC ordered solar PV project developers to develop and commission their respective plants by March 31, 2021 to get the tariff rates as specified in respective PPAs executed with UPCL. In case of any delay beyond March 31, 2021 the lower of the tariff between that determined by the commission for the year of commissioning of the project and the one determined through competitive bidding/PPA tariff, will be applicable.

Stating that there will be a saving to the solar PV project developers on account of decrease in module cost as well as interest rates which may compensate the increase in other costs, and that the tariffs were determined through bidding process and any arbitrary enhancement of tariff would not be appropriate; the UERC rejected developers’ claim to increase tariff by 10%.

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Saumy Prateek

Saumy has been a writer with Reuters, Mercom India and Rystad Energy.