SECI Tenders 2 GW of ISTS-Connected Wind Projects under Tranche-V

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to pay dues to three wind project developers.

The state commission has issued a common order for three separate petitions. The petitions were filed by:  Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Shah Promoters & Developers (SPAD) and Mahanagar Developers (MD).  The three companies had filed petitions against the MSEDCL for non-payment of outstanding principal amount, delay payment charges and in few cases, interest on the delay payment charges for the energy supplied.

Hindustan Petroleum has a 3.5 MW wind project in Dhule district. It had requested the Maharashtra commission to direct the MSEDCL to pay a sum of ₹22,882,069 (~$321,625) towards the outstanding amount against sales invoices and a sum of ₹6,803,597 (~$95,630) towards delay payment charges. The company had also requested the MERC to direct MSEDCL to pay the carrying cost at the rate of 15 percent per annum for the delay in payment.

Shah Promoters and Developers had entered power purchase agreements with the MSEDCL for 33.2 MW wind power capacity. It had requested that the MSEDCL be directed to pay the amount of ₹83,286,234 (~$1.2 million) towards outstanding invoices and a sum of ₹24,238,006 (~$340,685) towards the delay payment charges, and to continue to make payments as provided in the agreement between the parties in a timely manner and comply with the terms of the agreement. The firm had also requested the MERC to direct the MSEDCL to pay accelerated penalty if the payments are not released despite the orders of the commission.

Lastly, Mahanagar Developers had entered into an agreement with the MSEDCL for 8 MW of wind power capacity. It had requested to order the MSEDCL to pay a sum of ₹68,147,564 (~$957,869) towards sales invoices and to pay a sum of ₹6,085,316 (~$85,534) towards the delay payment charges. The developer had also requested the Maharashtra commission to ask the MSEDCL to pay carrying cost at the rate of 15 percent per annum for the delay in payment.

After examining the petitions and submissions, the MERC issued a common order asking the MSEDCL to release the agreed payments to the developers on account of the principal amount and towards the interest on the principal amount as per the plan submitted to the commission.

The state commission also stated that the reconciliation was to be completed within two weeks from the date of the order and a reconciled report of the outstanding dues along with the exact time limit for making the payment had to be submitted to the commission within two working days thereafter.

It also warned the MSEDCL that if it deviates from its commitment, penal interest at the rate of 1.25 percent per month will be levied on the late payment charges.

This ruling is similar to an earlier order in which the MERC directed the MSEDCL to pay dues to wind power generators Shah Lulla Estate Developers and BLP Wind Project (Amberi) Private Limited.

In October 2018, the commission had directed the MSEDCL to pay ₹41.0464 billion (~$0.56 billion) in dues to wind power generators in Maharashtra.

Saumy Prateek 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.