The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has asked a textile company to pay the transmission charges, and the state load despatch center (SLDC) charges amounting to ~₹14 million (~$187,357) to Rajasthan Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (RVPN).
The Commission asked Kishangarh Hi-Tech Textiles Park Limited to make the payment within 30 days, including a late payment surcharge (LPS). The Commission added that the DISCOM could allow Kishangarh Textiles to pay the outstanding amount in installments and provide reconnection to the generating project if requested.
The state DISCOM had filed a petition seeking the recovery of transmission charges, SLDC fees, and other charges from Kishangarh Textiles Park Limited.
The company had set up a wind energy-based power projects of 8.4 (4×2.1) MW capacity at Habur village in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. It was connected to RVPN’s 220 kV grid substation at Amarsagar through a common pooling substation of Suzlon Infrastructure Services Limited.
A wheeling agreement was executed between RVPN, Kishangarh Textiles, and Suzlon Infrastructure Services Limited on December 20, 2010.
RVPN, in its submission, had said that the generator had failed to make payment of ₹14.5 million (~$194,049) towards transmission charges, incentives, LPS charges, and ₹1.7 million (~$22,750) towards SLDC fee from March 2018 to June 2019.
The SLDC, on request of the DISCOM, stopped the scheduling of power to the wind power project from November 02, 2018.
A disconnection notice was sent to Kishangarh Textiles, asking it to make the payment towards outstanding dues within 15 days, failing which, the project would be disconnected from the state grid. As the generator failed to deposit the due amount within the prescribed time limit, the wind power project was disconnected from the pooling station on December 20, 2018.
RVPN, in its submission, noted that it had received an amount of ₹4.3 million (~$57,545) through intercompany transfer from Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (AVVNL). So, the total outstanding amount towards transmission charges and SLDC charges, including a late payment surcharge, were ₹11.8 million (~$157,915) and ₹1.9 million (~$25,427), respectively.
Kishangarh Textiles argued from December 2010 to March 2014; it continued to run the wind project through open access without any obstructions. Then, came the tariff regulations, 2014, and the open access regulations, 2016, which imposed wheeling charges on the contracted capacity. Because of this, the open access wind project lost its significance and was closed down in December 2018.
The generator further stated that the amount claimed was for the period from March 2018 to December 2018 when the wind power project was not in operation, and there was no use of the transmission system. Therefore, RVPN had no authority to issue any bill against the transmission charges.
The generator had to receive a sum of ₹4.3 million (~$57,545) against the banking of energy for the period from June 2018 to December 2018 from the Ajmer DISCOM. Instead of taking a refund of ₹4.3 million (~$57,545), it had requested both the DISCOM to adjust the amount.
The Commission noted that Kishangarh Textiles had not made the payment of transmission charges and SLDC charges, including the late payment surcharge amounting to ₹11.8 million (~$157,915) and ₹1.9 million (~$25,427), respectively.
The Commission did not find any merit in the argument put forth by the petitioner.
It also stated that the transmission and wheeling charges should be payable based on open access capacity contracted or open access capacity utilized, whichever is higher. The Commission added that transmission and wheeling charges would be levied based on the capacity contracted and not on the energy injected. Stating this, it ordered the petitioner to submit the due amount to the DISCOM.
In March this year, RERC came out with a suo-moto order regarding the directives issued by the state government for the banking of power, transmission and wheeling charges, power projects with storage systems, and rooftop solar projects. The Commission stated that it had introduced the banking facility for renewable energy projects in its earlier regulations. Under the existing regulations, banking is allowed only for the captive consumer. However, according to the policy directive, the banking facility has been extended to the third-party sale also. The Commission stated that the policy directions of the state government regarding annual banking need to be taken into consideration by the DISCOMs.
Last year, the state launched its Solar Energy Policy 2019. The policy aims to deploy 25 GW of solar energy capacity in the state by 2020-2021 and 50 GW over the next 5-6 years to meet the renewable purchase obligations of distribution companies.
Rakesh Ranjan 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.