MERC Refuses Transfer of Execution Right in a 225 MW Solar-Wind Hybrid Project

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) dismissed Tata Power Company-Distribution’s (TPC-D) request to change the name of the execution entity from Tata Power Green Energy Limited (TPGEL) to Tata Power Saurya Limited (TPSL). The petition was filed for a 225 MW wind-solar hybrid power project.

Background

Tata Power-Distribution had filed the petition seeking the Commission’s approval for the change in the name.

Before that, it had approached the Commission to set a tariff for the procurement of 225 MW of power from hybrid projects on a long-term basis to meet its renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets.


The tender was floated in June 2020.

In its order dated August 10, 2020, the Commission had approved a tariff of ₹2.59/kWh.

Earlier, Tata’s distribution arm had issued the letter of award to Tata Power Green to set up the 225 MW hybrid project. Later, Tata Power Green informed that its parent company, Tata Power, had decided to develop all its new projects under one company for better cash flow management and governance. After that, Tata Power Saurya was incorporated to consolidate the entire new renewable energy portfolio.

After this, Tata Power Green requested a change in the execution entity’s name for the hybrid project.

In its submission, Tata Power-Distribution said that during the bid evaluation, it had verified that Tata Power Green met the bid requirements by being a 100% subsidiary of Tata Power along with the financial criteria. Similarly, Tata Power Saur, being another 100% Tata subsidiary, qualified for the bid requirement. The new entity had agreed to execute the project at the same terms and conditions that were signed initially.

Commission’s Analysis

In its analysis, the Commission stated that it had approved the tariff discovered through the competitive bidding process, and Tata Power Green was found to be the lowest bidder. So, the capacity was given to it through a letter of award.

The Commission added that while submitting the petition, it was clearly stated that the request for selection does not provide the transfer of execution right to an affiliate.

The state regulator further said that Tata Power Saurya was not in existence as a separate legal entity during the bidding process or after completing the process because it was incorporated only on August 02, 2020. It said that the petitioner was seeking the change of executing entity, which was selected after a transparent process of competitive bidding to a new entity that did not exist at the time.

The Commission noted that the petitioner had not revealed any information about the existing obligations of Tata Power Green after the incorporation of the new entity.

“As per bidding conditions, the selected bidder had the option of forming a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to execute the project,” the Commission added.

After considering all the facts, the Commission said that the change in executing entity for the 225 MW grid-connected wind-solar hybrid power projects from TPGEL to TPSL could not be approved.

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