The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has dismissed a review petition filed by the Rajasthan distribution companies (DISCOMs) complaining about the adverse financial implications in terms of load flow and transmission charges for the solar projects located in Rajasthan even though there is no consumption within the state.
The petitioners were Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (AVVNL), Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JVVNL), and Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JdVVNL), the DISCOMs in Rajasthan.
Earlier, the central transmission utility Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) had filed a petition seeking regulatory approval for the execution of the transmission systems for solar energy zones in Rajasthan. In the petition, PGCIL had estimated an evacuation of 8.9 GW of solar power from the western region. However, none of the 8.9 GW power generated is intended for consumption within Rajasthan at this stage.
To meet the national target of 175 GW of solar capacity by 2022, PGCIL had planned transmission capacity for 66.5 GW of renewable energy in the seven renewable energy-rich states. It had earlier approved ₹25.8 billion (~$358 million) to develop a transmission system for solar energy zones in Rajasthan. Out of this capacity, PGCIL was involved in the execution of the transmission system associated with 8.9 GW of renewable energy potential in solar energy zones in Rajasthan.
The DISCOMs in Rajasthan are concerned with the adverse financial implications in terms of load flow and transmission charges because the solar projects are located in Rajasthan even though there is no consumption within the state.
The DISCOMs further noted they should not be bearing the burden of transmission charges or load flow, resulting in a higher point of connection charges for facilitating the transmission of power to other states.
The DISCOMs demanded a proper mechanism to share the transmission charges of interstate transmission system (ISTS) assets created for evacuating power from solar rich states. In its earlier order, the Commission had heard the concerns raised about the burden on the distribution companies related to the unused transmission assets. It was decided that the distribution companies should not bear such a burden.
However, the Commission has not addressed the concerns on sharing the transmission charges after the commissioning of the solar projects. The Commission has also not indicated which DISCOMs should bear the burden and how the burden is to be shared after the commissioning of the solar project. The Commission has not addressed the concerns of the impact of load flow due to the solar power being injected in Rajasthan.
On the matter relating to sharing the transmission charges after the commissioning of the solar projects, the Commission noted that at present, this had been dealt with under the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (sharing of ISTS charges and losses) Regulations, 2010.
The CERC had recently issued a draft regulation for sharing inter-state transmission charges and losses for 2019. According to the draft, the transmission charges would be shared among the designated ISTS customers, so that the yearly transmission charges are fully covered, and any adjustment on account of the revision of transmission charges are recovered.
After going through the petition, the Commission further noted that the DISCOMs have failed to prove or “establish any error or mistake apparent on the face of the record.” Consequently, the petition stood rejected by the CERC.
In March 2019, Mercom reported that the CERC had issued a notification regarding an amendment for the sharing of the ISTS charges and losses. The regulation was introduced in 2010 and has been amended six times.
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).