Developers Appeal to APTEL Regarding Solar Projects in Andhra Pradesh

Despite the court’s stay order, Andhra Pradesh government decided to withdraw the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with 21 wind power projects worth 776.9 MW. In the wake of this development, Ayana Renewable Power, SB Energy, and Sprng Energy have filed petitions in the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) against the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) and others, apprehending similar treatment to solar developers at the hands of the state DISCOM.

The petitioners through the letters have expressed apprehension with regards to the recent development in the renewable energy sector of Andhra Pradesh.

The letters dated July 29, 2019, and July 30, 2019, state that the controversy relates to a program for the procurement of solar power on a long term basis, 750 MW each by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Solar Energy Corporation India Limited (SECI).

APTEL recognizes that the three solar developers (Ayana, SB Energy, and Sprng Energy) have invested substantial amounts in the projects being developed by the Solar Park Corporations (the state implementing agency). The agreements were signed between the NTPC and SECI on one part and DISCOMs on the other part. The three companies have expressed their concern over Andhra Pradesh South Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) filing a memo with the APERC to cancel the 21 wind PPAs despite the court’s stay order. The fear is that a similar course of action should not be taken against solar projects by the three companies.

Responding to the petition by the three solar companies, the APTEL has issued a direction against the DISCOM and the state regulatory commission not to initiate any precipitative or coercive action against the petitioner until the state commission issues an order about the adoption of the tariff, trading margin, and approval of procurement of contracted capacity.

The tribunal has issued a notice to the respondents on the main appeal as well as on the stay application. The next date of hearing is August 7, 2019.

Earlier, Mercom reported that after the High Court’s stay order, Andhra Pradesh has started curtailing wind power. When Mercom contacted a wind project developer, he said that during peak hours, the curtailment is 90-100%, and on an average, the state government has started to curtail 60-70% daily.