CERC Approves Registration of India’s Third Power Exchange

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has granted Pranurja Solution Limited (PSL) registration right to establish and operate a power exchange.

It would make PSL the third power exchange in India after India Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India (PXIL).

PSL was incorporated in 2018 as a consortium of PTC India (PTC), BSE Investments, and ICICI Bank. In 2018, The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), ICICI Bank, and PTC filed a petition with the CERC for a license grant to set up a new power exchange.

In February this year, the Commission proposed granting registration to PSL to establish and operate a power exchange. The Commission said that it would invite suggestions and comments on its proposal.

PSL had earlier filed a petition for a grant of registration to establish and operate a power exchange under Regulation 16 of the CERC (Power Market) Regulations 2010. In the interim period, it had requested the Commission to grant provisional registration to align its structure, management, and activities per CERC Regulations, 2010.

The Commission observed that the company had fulfilled the net-worth requirement of ₹250 million (~$3.4 million) and that its net worth was ₹500 million (~$6.86 million). The promoter companies, i.e., PTC, BSE Investments, and ICICI Bank, were 25%, 25%, and 9.99% of shares. Also, there were 11 other shareholders, each of whom had a shareholding of 5% or less.

The Commission is satisfied that PSL, as an applicant, has complied with the shareholding pattern under Regulation 19 of the PMR 2010.

Meanwhile, in a hearing on April 4, 2021, IEX had raised PSL’s compliance issues with the provisions of Power Market Regulations 2021. IEX argued that PSL’s registration as a power exchange should be considered under the Power Market Regulations 2021 and not 2010. Similarly, PXIL submitted that the software of PSL’s proposed power exchange should allow seamless integration regarding market coupling as envisaged in the Power Market Regulations 2021.

However, the Commission noted that since the Power Market Regulations 2021 is still not in force,  the argument put forth by IEX and PXIL has no merit.

Under Regulation 21(i) and Regulation 16(vii) of the Power Market Regulations 2010, the Commission granted registration to PSL to establish and operate a power exchange subject to complying with the conditions within three months from the issuance of this order.

PSL’s power exchange will operate for 25 years from the date of commencement of operation.

Meanwhile, the IEX traded a record 78 MU of solar power in April, a 272% surge from the 21 MU traded in March 2021. The exchange’s real-time power market registered a trading volume of 7,707 MU in April 2021, achieving a 90.2% year-over-year (YoY) growth.