MNRE Warns States: Honor ‘Must Run’ Status of Solar and Wind Energy

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a letter to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories, asking them to ensure that ‘must run’ status has been accorded to both wind and power projects in the states in line with the Indian Electricity Grid Code 2010 and the Electricity Act 2003.

“According to existing instructions, solar and wind power can be curtailed only for reasons of grid safety and security and that too after communicating reasons of curtailment in writing to generators,” states the letter dated August 1, 2019.

In the letter, the joint secretary of MNRE, B.P. Yadav states that in violation of the regulations, “some State Load Despatch Centers (SLDC) are resorting to large scale backing down of wind and solar energy.”

“It is reiterated that the ‘must run’ status of wind and solar projects be honored in letter and spirit and the curtailment of such power be done only for reasons of grid safety and security and that too after communicating instructions detailing reasons for the curtailment to the generators in writing,” the letter further states.

Yadav has warned that if any SLDC curtails wind or solar power for any reason other than grid safety or security as prescribed in respective grid code or regulation, then “they will be liable for making good the loss incurred by the wind or solar power generators towards deemed generation.”

Although it isn’t mentioned in the letter, it is speculated that the MNRE issued the notice against the irregular curtailment of wind and solar power, after the ongoing tussle intensified between the newly-formed Andhra Pradesh government and wind and solar generators in the state.

It is not clear what MNRE can do if states continue to violate the ‘must-run status’ rules. Strict enforcement is what is missing from the equation.

Last week, Mercom reported that despite the High Court’s stay order, the Andhra Pradesh government curtailed nearly 90-100% of wind power.

The state government was also set to cancel 21 wind power purchase agreements (PPAs).

The National Solar Energy Foundation of India (NSEFI) has also written a letter to the Minister of Power R.K. Singh, requesting for his immediate intervention in the curtailment of renewable energy projects in Andhra Pradesh despite the ‘must -run’ status accorded to them.

Image Credit: Mercom