The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSECDL) to clear its outstanding dues with three wind developers in the state, including interest for delayed payment payment charges (DPC).
The developers had filed petitions with the commission earlier this year after a dispute with MSEDCL for the recovery of their payment dues. As the three petitions were similar in nature, the state commission issued a common order. The petitioners and their projects are as follows:
- Pristine Industries, with a 1.5 MW wind project located in the Sangli district of Maharashtra.
- Priyadarshini Polysacks, with 9.10 MW of wind projects developed across Dhule, Sangli, Bhud, and Gude Panchgani.
- Pertinent Infra and Energy with a 3 MW wind project located at Bhud.
The three generators had sought an order from the commission directing the DISCOM to pay all the dues towards the outstanding delayed payment charges to the tune of ₹7.03 million (~$98,631).
In its order, the MERC directed the MSEDCL to reconcile its statement of accounts with the petitioners within two weeks from the date of issue of the order and to announce a date by which it intends to make the payments.
The commission also stated that a penal interest would be charged if MSEDCL did not make the payments on time, in line with the wind energy purchase agreement (WEPA) signed between the generators and the DISCOM.
According to the agreement, a penalty of 1.25% per month would be charged if the payments are not made before the expiry of a 60-day credit period from the date of receipt of the invoice.
In September 2019, as well, the state commission directed MSEDCL to reconcile the statement of accounts with the petitioners within two weeks and pay back the dues of three wind generators.
Earlier this year, Mercom reported that the MERC reprimanded the MSEDCL for continued delays in meeting payment obligations to independent wind power producers, including late payment charges, and for disregarding the previous orders of the commission.
Last year, in a similar order, the MERC directed the state DISCOM to pay ₹41.05 billion (~$0.56 billion) in dues to wind power generators. The petition was filed by the Windmill Owners Welfare Association of India (WOWAI) about the outstanding payments due from MSEDCL for the sale of wind energy and interest on delayed payments under various wind energy purchase agreements entered by its members.
The state has been struggling to meet its solar and non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) and has been issuing tenders to procure solar and wind energy to meet the obligations. The tariff caps and the questionable creditworthiness of the DISCOM have resulted in tepid response for the earlier tenders issued.
Nithin Thomas is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. More articles from Nithin.