Government’s Advisory on How to Avail ISTS Waiver for Solar & Wind Projects

The Government of India has issued an advisory for submitting required documents for the waiver of interstate transmission system (ISTS) charges and losses on the transmission of electricity generated from solar and wind projects.

Solar and wind projects are advised to submit documents for the fulfillment of provisions for availing the waiver for the use of ISTS network within ten days of commissioning of the generation project. Failing this deadline, applicable transmission charges will be levied in line with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) regulations.

To avail the waiver, the entities must submit the certificate of the date of project commissioning, and the letter of award (LoA) issued by the designated agency stating that the project has been awarded through a competitive bidding process in accordance with the guidelines issued by the central government.

It has also been specified that the certificate from the entities stating that the executed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the solar and wind power generating projects are for the compliance of their renewable purchase obligations (RPOs).

In March 2019, the CERC issued a notification for an amendment in the regulation for sharing of ISTS charges and losses. The regulation was introduced in 2010 and has been amended six times. According to that amendment, “No transmission charges and losses for the use of ISTS network will be payable for the generation based on solar and wind power resources for a period of 25 years from the date of commercial operation.”

Before that, the CERC had notified the fifth amendment in sharing of inter-state transmission charges and losses in December 2017 with the same provision that no transmission charges would apply for using the ISTS network.

Recently, the CERC finalized the amended regulations for open access in interstate transmission and removed the ‘underutilization of transmission corridor’ as one of the criteria for revising the standing clearance. Now, the despatch centers will comprehensively review the situation and do a prudence check while issuing the standing clearance to the applicant.