Carry Forward of Surplus Non-Solar, Solar RPO to the Next Financial Year Allowed in Punjab

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) accepted Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL)’s petition to carry forward the cumulative surplus non-solar and solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) from the financial year (FY) 2020-21 to FY 2021-22.

The Commission also accepted PSPCL’s request to reduce RPO targets for FY 2021-22.

Background

The State Power Corporation filed the petition with the Commission to carry forward cumulative surplus of 260.29 MU for non-solar and 446.64 MU of solar RPO of FY 2020-21 to FY 2021-22. It also requested the Commission to reduce RPO targets for FY 2021-22 by 1.5% for solar and 0.3% for non-solar.


According to the Power Corporation, the spread of Covid-19 and consequential lockdowns resulted in the deterioration of its financial health.

After hearing the request, the Commission allowed a reduction in RPO targets by 3.5% for solar and non-solar due to the pandemic for FY 2020-21.

Accordingly, the revised RPO target for the Power Corporation is 4.7% for non-solar and 3.3% for solar for FY 2020-21. The RPO for FY 2021-22 is revised to 8% for non-solar and 6.5% for solar.

In its petition, the Power Corporation said that it expects a surplus in RPO compliance to the tune of 260.29 MU for non-solar and 446.64 MU for solar in FY 2020-21.

To achieve RPO targets for FY 2021-22, it has signed a power sales agreement (PSA) with NTPC Limited for a 300 MW solar project. It also signed a PSA with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for a 500 MW hybrid project.

However, the Power Corporation is expecting an RPO shortfall during FY 2021-22 since NTPC and SECI’s renewable projects are delayed.

Due to this delay in project execution, the RPO shortfall is 357.95 MU for non-solar and 1110.68 MU for solar during FY 2021-22.

However, the shortfall will reduce to 99.66 MU for non-solar and 664.04 MU for solar after carrying forward FY 2020-21’s surplus to FY 2021-22.

The Commission was informed that the purchase of short-term renewable energy and renewable energy certificates (RECs) would impose a substantial financial burden on the Power Corporation and consumers of Punjab.

PEDA’s response

Punjab Electricity Development Agency (PEDA) said the Commission determines RPO targets for compliance by all obligated entities in Punjab. The Commission also has the power to revise the RPO targets for any year. However, according to PEDA, there is no provision in the applicable laws to carry forward surplus power after complying with the RPO.

Commission’s analysis 

The Commission observed that the central government and state governments, including Punjab, imposed complete lockdown to control the spread of the covid-19. Since the projects were delayed, the availability of energy from various renewable energy projects was also delayed. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy also allowed extension initially by five months and then for two and a half months to all renewable energy projects.

In its analysis, the Commission also noticed the efforts of PSPCL to procure renewable energy from various sources for achieving its RPO targets.

The Commission allowed the Power Corporation to carry forward the surplus in FY 2020-21 after compliance of RPO to FY 2021-22. It also reduced the RPO targets for FY 2021-22 by 1.5% for solar and 0.3% for non-solar, which would apply to all obligated entities in the state.

However, the Commission directed the Power Corporation to evacuate all renewable energy available from various contracted sources keeping in view their must-run status for maximum RPO compliance.

Last year, PSERC approved the carry forward of the shortfall in the compliance of RPO in FY 2019-20 to FY 2020-21.

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