The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) said that any power purchased from fossil fuel cogeneration projects would not be counted for renewable purchase obligation (RPO) compliance.
However, the regulatory body added that distribution licensees might continue with the purchase of power from fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects as an energy-efficient measure, as mentioned in the renewable energy regulations, 2013.
Earlier, Lloyds Metal and Energy Limited had filed an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (APTEL) against the order passed by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on December 29, 2011, for not determining tariff for coal-based cogeneration projects.
As per Lloyds Metal, the Commission had also not set the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) target for the distribution licensees from the cogeneration project.
The Tribunal in its order had noted:
“The distribution company cannot be fastened with the obligation to purchase a percentage of its consumption from fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects. Such a purchase obligation can be fastened only from electricity generated from renewable sources of energy. However, the state Commission can promote fossil fuel-based cogeneration by other measures such as facilitating the sale of surplus electricity available at such cogeneration plants in the interest of promoting energy efficiency and grid security.”
After going through the Tribunal’s judgment, the West Bengal Commission said that the existing regulations on cogeneration and generation of electricity published by the Commission in 2013 conflict with the Tribunal’s findings.
So, the Commission noted that from now on, procuring power from fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects will not count for RPO compliance. Meanwhile, the distribution licensees can procure power from such projects to promote energy-efficient measures in the state.
Recently, MERC dismissed JSW Steel Limited’s plea seeking exemption from the requirement to meet its renewable purchase targets to the extent of its consumption from its cogeneration plants. The company has two fossil fuel-based cogeneration projects at Dolvi in Maharashtra.
Earlier, MERC directed the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to comply with a target of 9% as per state regulations. ONGC had filed a petition with the Commission seeking clarification on its RPO targets for 59.2 MW of its cogeneration projects.
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.