APTEL Stalls DERC from Imposing Penalty on Tata Power DISCOM for RPO Non-Compliance

The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has provided relief to the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) after it was penalized by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) for not meeting its renewable purchase obligation (RPO).

The DISCOM has argued that the commission imposed a penalty due to misinterpretation of facts which, according to the company, “is absolutely an erroneous assumption.”

DERC imposed penalties of ₹17.2 million (~$240,000) last week on Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) and ₹28.8 million (~$410,000) each on BSES Yamuna Power Ltd. (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd. (BRPL).

The penalties were imposed for defaulting on RPO for three financial years. The commission had ordered the distribution companies to pay the penalty within a month. Further, the commission, in its order, observed, “There is no doubt that DISCOMs have failed to meet their RPO. Keeping in view all factors and various directions of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), it is established that the failure of DISCOMs to meet the RPO makes them liable to pay the penalty.”



Consequently, TPDDL moved an interlocutory application before the APTEL seeking respite in the matter.  In its application, TPDDL stated:

“The matter came to be disposed of clubbing the same with another petition filed by the distribution company, which had not complied with RPO obligation; therefore, the impugned order was passed wrongly saddling the appellant with a penalty.”

Considering the submissions of the appellant, APTEL has directed the commission to not take any coercive measures against the DISCOM until November 13, 2019, which is the next scheduled date of hearing.

In March 2019, the Delhi commission had approved a power sale agreement signed between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and TPDDL for procuring power from 50 MW of wind power projects. This procurement of power was also to be utilized for meeting TPDDL’s renewable purchase obligation.

In a positive development for the renewable energy industry, state electricity regulatory commissions are taking strong measures against RPO defaulters in the country. Recently, the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission ordered that nine companies will be issued notices for the non-compliance of RPO order.

Hopefully, other states will start taking notice and get tough on RPO enforcement, which will spur the renewable sector in India towards achieving the 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 goal set by the government.