The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), in a recent order, has granted a transmission license to Bikaner-II Bhiwadi Transco, a special purpose vehicle of Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), to establish a transmission system strengthening program for evacuation of power from solar energy zones in Rajasthan (8.1 GW) under Phase II-Part F, on build, own, operate, and maintain basis.
In May 2020, Power Finance Corporation incorporated five SPVs as wholly-owned subsidiaries of PFC Consulting. The five SPVs included Bhadla Sikar Transmission, Sikar-II Aligarh Transmission, Khetri-Narela Transmission, Bikaner-II Bhiwadi Transco, and Ananthapuram Kurnool Transmission.
The first four were originally set up for strengthening transmission systems for the evacuation of power from solar energy zones in Rajasthan (8.1 GW each) under the second phase (Parts E, G, D, and F) of their respective transmission programs. The Ananthapuram Kurnool Transmission Limited was set up for developing transmission systems at Ananthapur (2.5 GW), and Kurnool (1 GW), in Andhra Pradesh.
The bid process coordinator, Power Finance Corporation Consulting, had held competitive bidding and PGCIL emerged as the successful bidder with the lowest levelized transmission charges of ₹1.4 billion (~$18.70 million) per annum.
Bikaner-II Bhiwadi Transco, the SPV was transferred to PGCIL to execute the project. The scheduled commissioning date of the project is 18 months from the effective date or June 2022, whichever is later.
The license would remain in force for 25 years unless revoked earlier. The licensee must comply with all the provisions mentioned in the Transmission Licence Regulations and the terms and conditions of the Transmission Service Agreement.
The expiry date as per the TSA is 35 years from the scheduled date of commissioning, and the licensee can apply for an extension two years before the expiry.
The licensee will not enter any contract or engage in the business of trading in electricity during the period of subsistence of the transmission license.
Any delay in payment or non-payment of the license fee for more than 60 days would be considered a breach of the terms and conditions of the license.
The licensee must provide non-discriminatory open access to its transmission system for use by any other licensee, including a distribution licensee or an electricity trader, or generating company.
The licensee should not undertake any other business for the optimum utilization of the transmission system without prior intimation to the Commission and must comply with the provisions of the government.
The licensee will coordinate with the licensee (including deemed licensee) executing the upstream or downstream transmission projects and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for executing the project in a matching timeline.
Additionally, the CERC also directed the CEA to monitor the project execution and inform the Commission of any lapse on the part of the licensee to meet the schedule for further appropriate action per the provisions of the act and transmission license regulations.
Last month, PGCIL had acquired two transmission projects – Fatehgarh Bhadla Transco Limited and Sikar New Transmission Limited – under Phase II, Part-B, and C of the ‘transmission strengthening program’. Each of the projects is to evacuate 8.1 GW of power from solar energy zones in Rajasthan.
In March 2020, CERC gave transmission license to Powergrid Bhuj Transmission Limited, a subsidiary of PGCIL, to build transmission systems for 2 GW of renewable energy projects in Gujarat.
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Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.