In a case between Azure Power and Gulbarga Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (GESCOM), the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has ordered the distribution company (DISCOM) to pay all of its dues by November 29, 2019.
Azure Power had filed a petition with APTEL against the pending monthly dues for the supply of solar power, which was not paid by the DISCOM. The total amount due from the DISCOM, according to Azure was ₹283.6 million (~$4.01 million), even at a reduced tariff of ₹6.51 (~$0.092)/kWh.
In its order, APTEL has directed GESCOM to immediately pay half of the dues within three weeks – by November 14, 2019, and the balance within next two weeks after the first payment (by November 29, 2019).
According to Mercom India Solar Project Tracker, Azure Power had commissioned a 40 MW solar project under Phase IV of Karnataka Solar Policy two years ago.
Renewable energy developers in the country are facing challenges when it comes to payment collections for power supplied to many states. In May 2019, Mercom reported that payment delays are becoming a problem again for solar and wind project developers in India, especially in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana. Some instances in Madhya Pradesh and a DISCOM in Karnataka are also being blamed for long payment delays to developers.
According to Central Electricity Authority’s (CEAs) report in September 2019, the total payment due for 513 renewable projects now amounts to ₹97.356 billion (~$1.356 billion) as of July 31, 2019, showing an increase of nearly ~ ₹15 billion (~$0.21 billion) compared to the previous figure of ₹82.3 billion (~$1.14 billion) for the same period.
Currently, in Andhra Pradesh, the erring DISCOM that has been delaying payments for over a year has eventually led to a situation where billions of dollars in investments are under threat as the state is seeking unilateral revision of power purchase agreements (PPAs). The situation has turned unpleasant with developers opposing the state’s move and seeking legal remedy.
In August 2019, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission had ordered HESCOM to pay the dues to two wind power developers, VRL Logistics Limited and Maris Power Supply Company Limited, within a month. The petitions were against the delay in the payment of interest and tariff invoices to the tune of ₹6,892,159 (~$100,031) and ₹4,198,095 (~$60,930), respectively.
Image credit: Sunsights
Shaurya is a staff reporter at MercomIndia.com with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.