The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has directed the Chairperson of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) to hear Adani Group’s plea over solar power curtailment issues faced by the company in Tamil Nadu, according to a report by the Hindu. Curtailment occurs when power is disconnected from the state’s grid to ensure grid stability. Adani’s 648 MW solar project is located in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, which the company claims to be the largest project in a single location.
Mercom had previously reported that Adani completed the final 288 MW of the Kamuthi project through two of its subsidiaries, Kamuthi Solar Power and Ramnad Renewable Energy, which commissioned 216 MW and 72 MW respectively. These companies filed pleas with TNERC, stating that the cyclone and extensive rainfall in the region caused considerable damage resulting in delays to project construction. According to the company, the 216 MW project was completed by March 15, 2016 and the 72 MW project was completed by March 22, 2016. However, the sub-stations required for power evacuation from Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) were not provided on time, which further delayed their commissioning beyond March 31, 2016.
Solar projects in Tami Nadu, which were commissioned before March 31, 2016, were to receive a tariff of Rs.7.01 (~$0.1045)/kWh. TANGEDCO reduced the tariffs for solar projects commissioned beyond this deadline to Rs.5.1 (~$0.076)/unit. According to the Hindu, TNERC had turned down the plea saying it was a dispute between the Adani and the generating companies. The order signed by its Secretary and two other officers said that the issue could only be classified as a dispute resolution petition and could not be entertained as a miscellaneous petition. Developers in the past have alleged that curtailment in Tamil Nadu is mostly due to the utility opting to buy cheaper power from the exchanges rather than paying Rs.7 (~$0.1045)/kWh for solar (the state has signed PPAs for that rate).
Following this, the Adani Group subsidiaries moved APTEL against the state regulator’s order. In an order dated May 16, 2017, APTEL directed the Chairperson of the State Commission to hear the firms’ plea and pass appropriate orders. “The entire exercise should be conducted within a period of two months from the date of receipt of this order. We have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case,” Justice Ranjana P Desai, Chairperson and IJ Kapoor, Technical Member of APTEL, said in their May 18 order.
Image Credit: APTEL