Fossil fuel-based co-generation projects in Maharashtra have got time up until March 2020 to fulfill their renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets.
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) provided this relief after hearing a petition filed by the Captive Power Producers Association (CPPA) seeking an extension of time to comply with RPO targets. The association had sought the rollover of RPO obligations for FY 2016-17, FY 2017-18, and FY 2018-19 to FY 2019-20.
After going through the petition, the commission observed that CPPA had previously approached it seeking amendments to the RPO Regulations, 2016 seeking to restore the provision in the previous regulations of 2010 which exempted users of captive fossil fuel-based co-generation projects from RPO.
The MERC had not reinstated the exemption given to fossil fuel-based co-generation captive projects. It had deferred the RPO compliance of such projects for the financial year (FY) 2016- 17 and FY 2017-18 to FY 2018-19.
Now, because it has allowed other obligated entities to meet RPO obligation by March 2020, the commission has allowed similar concession to these projects as well to fulfill their cumulative RPO targets by March 2020. In March 2019, the MERC ordered Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to comply with its solar RPO requirement for FY 2017-18 by March 2020 to fulfill the solar RPO requirement of the year.
The state commission has also directed Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) to submit the relevant data from FY 2014-15 to FY 2016-17 within 45 days of this order to enable the commission to take up the verification process. The MERC will deal with the period beyond FY 2016-17 in its order of verification for the period FY 2014-2015 to FY 2016-2017.
The MERC has said that fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects can fulfill their cumulative RPO targets by March 2020 after the commission completes the verification process for FY 2014-15 to FY 2016-17.
The commission added that it would initiate the RPO compliance verification process for FY 2014-15 to FY 2016-17 for captive power project users and open access consumers. After crystallization of the verification process is done, the shortfall will be determined, and the association can deposit the amount equivalent to the floor prices of renewable energy certificate (REC) falling short and from there on, meet their RPO on year to year basis.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.