The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has ordered the national load despatch center (NLDC) to issue renewable energy certificates (RECs) for a 1.5 MW wind energy project.
The CERC issued the order after hearing a petition filed by Eingur Wind Energy Private Limited. It had approached the commission about the delay of 72 days in applying for the revalidation of accreditation as an eligible entity under the REC mechanism. NLDC and Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited (TNTCL) were the respondents in this case.
The wind energy generator had requested the CERC to direct the respondents to take necessary action for the revalidation of accreditation of the projects with effect from December 17, 2016 and the revalidation of registration with effect from January 5, 2017, under the REC regulations.
Eingur Wind Energy Private Limited had also asked the central commission to direct the respondents to issue RECs corresponding to the generation of electricity from December 17, 2016 onwards.
On January 5, 2012, the NLDC granted the wind energy generator certificate for registration as an eligible entity confirming its entitlement to receive RECs for its project with validity until January 1, 2017. On December 17, 2011, the TNTCL had granted the certificate of accreditation with validity up to December 16, 2016.
On December 26, 2016, the wind energy generator was informed about the revalidation of the accreditation, with instructions. Eingur Wind Energy Private Limited could not respond on time.
Then on February 28, 2017, the company applied for revalidation of the accreditation after the expiry of its validity. The wind energy generator also sought to pay the fees online for the revalidation, however, the online gateway did not accept the payment, according to the petition. Consequently, the accreditation and registration of the project expired without revalidation.
The CERC observed that the wind energy generator was required to apply for revalidation of accreditation by September 16, 2016; at least three months before its expiry. However, the company applied for the revalidation on February 28, 2017, 74 days after the expiry.
Taking this into consideration, the commission observed that Eingur Wind Energy Private Limited did not comply with the provision of the REC regulations and the registration procedure. The CERC, therefore, agreed to the procedural delay by the petitioner.
The commission further observed that per the principle laid down for the grant of RECs, if the petitioner is engaged in generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, then it will be eligible for dealing in RECs if it sells the electricity generated to the distribution licensee of its area at the pooled cost of power purchase.
Stating this, the CERC ordered the NLDC to issue the RECs from January 2017 until the company gets reaccredited for the wind energy generated. The CERC also gave a strict warning to the wind energy generator to follow all rules, regulations, and procedures under the REC mechanism.
Recently, the CERC had also ordered NLDC to issue RECs for a small hydro project of capacity 10 MW and another cogeneration project.
In March 2018, the central commission had issued model guidelines for the accreditation of renewable energy projects or distribution licensees by state agencies under the REC mechanism. The new procedure is designed to provide the entities with guidance on how to implement the REC mechanism.
The same month, it also created a set of procedures for issuance of RECs to entities. In January 2019, Mercom reported that CERC was seeking consultants to study the regulatory impact of the REC mechanism.