CERC Directs NLDC to Issue RECs to a 24 MW Hydro Project Overlooking Procedural Delay

In its latest order, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has provided relief to a small hydropower developer by overlooking procedural delays allowing the issuance of renewable energy certificates (RECs) that it had sought.

The petition was filed by Bhilangana Hydro Power Limited (BHPL), a generating company that operates a 24 MW small hydro project located in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The petition was filed against the NLDC and Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA).

The petition was filed for the issuance of RECs from the date of commissioning of the 24 MW hydro project. The project was commissioned on December 20, 2011.

Background:



The BHPL has asked the national load dispatch centre (NLDC) to issue the RECs for the 24 MW project from the date of commissioning until the date of registration – February 28, 2012.

BHPL submitted in its petition that its project was ready for commissioning as early as July 2011. However, the commissioning of the project was delayed substantially on account of the delay in the construction of power evacuation facilities by the transmission licensee in Uttarakhand.

Meanwhile, UREDA granted accreditation to the project on February 8, 2012, after a delay of over 11 months from the date of applying. The NLDC registered the project on February 28, 2012, after considering the recommendations of the UREDA.

Later, BHPL filed a petition before the Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) for the resolution of the issues arising due to the delay in the accreditation of the project by UREDA and requested that the project be made eligible for accreditation and issuance of RECs from the date of commissioning of the project.

Apart from directing UREDA for taking necessary action for the grant of accreditation from the date of commissioning of the project, the UERC had also directed both the SLDC and NLDC to take on record the revised date of accreditation and to take necessary action to ensure that RECs are issued from December 20, 2011.

However, according to BHPL, the NLDC failed to issue the RECs for the project to the tune of  11,195.

After hearing both sides of the story, the commission noted, “Had the state agency issued the accreditation in time and enabled the petitioner to apply for registration to NLDC, its project could have been registered before the date of commissioning on 20.11.2011, and the petitioner would have been eligible for grant of RECs from that date.”

Considering this, the commission ordered that the promotional provisions of the REC regulations should not be denied to the petitioner on procedural grounds.  The commission has therefore directed the NLDC to treat the project as being registered on December 20, 2011, and grant the RECs for the period as requested.

In August 2019, Mercom reported that CERC directed the NLDC and Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) to issue the RECs to Rana Sagars, the petitioner, for a period from March 2016 to April 2017. In this case, as well, the commission observed that the RECs were denied on account of procedural and technical issues on which the respondent has no power or authority and that only the Commission could permit it.

In May 2019, Mercom reported that the CERC had issued an order extending the validity of RECs which were due to expire between April 1, 2019, and October 31, 2019, thus giving much relief to renewable energy generators of both solar and non-solar projects which are a part of the REC mechanism.

In October’s REC trading session, there was an increase in the number of solar and non-solar RECs that were traded compared with the trading activity recorded in September. The RECs were traded at ₹2,400 (~$33.9)/REC, which is a record high price on both the trading platforms. The prices have been shooting up in recent months owing to the supply crunch.