CERC waives ISTS

In a welcome move for the solar project developers in the country, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has waived the transmission charges for using the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) network.

This relief comes through the amendment of CERC’s Regulation. According to the new amendment, “No transmission charges and losses for the use of the ISTS network will be payable for the solar projects for a period of 25 years from the date of its commercial operation.”

This is a great news for solar project developers to end their year with. The amendment would do away with the additional burden of transmission if the project begins its operations before December 2019.

This is a great news for solar project developers to end their year with. The amendment would do away with the additional burden of transmission charges if the project begins its operations before December 2019. The ISTS charges were previously waived only until December 2017. Following the ISTS waiver announcement, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) tendered a total of 750 MW of solar at the Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan.



To avail the benefit, the solar projects must have these prerequisites:

  • The solar projects must have been awarded through competitive bidding
  • The generation capacity must be declared under commercial operation between July 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019
  • There should be proper Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) executed for sale of such generation capacity to the distribution companies (DISCOMs) for compliance with their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs)

The development also comes in the wake of CERC’s draft regulations for granting Inter-State Transmission Connectivity to solar and wind projects.

Under the 2017 Draft Regulations, a project of 100 MW would be charged ₹400,000 (~$6,097) for connectivity and General Network Access (GNA); a project between 100 MW and 500 MW would be charged ₹600,000 (~$9,146); a project with a capacity greater than 500 MW and up to 1,000 MW would be charged ₹1.2 million (~$18,291); and a project with a capacity that is greater than 1,000 MW would be charged ₹1.8 million (~$27,437) for connectivity and GNA.

At the beginning of 2017, CERC had changed durations of long-term and medium-term open access while keeping in mind the sustenance of existing grid infrastructure.

 

Update: Article has been updated with links to previous news in the third paragraph