Small Hydro Project Developer in Maharashtra Gets Relief from DISCOM's Non-Compliance

In its latest ruling, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has provided relief to Mohite Industries, a small hydro project developer of a 10 MW Radhanagari small hydro power project in Maharashtra.  MERC has provided this relief due to non-compliance by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL).

The developer had petitioned MERC with regards to MSEDCL’s non-compliance with the Distribution Open Access Regulations (DOAR) of 2016.

In its petition, the developer requested that MSEDCL pay for the unutilized banked energy from the 10 MW small hydro project, as well as pay interest (at the rate of 18 percent per annum) for the unutilized banked energy from April 2017 up to the date of release of payment.

In examining the validity of the above requests, MERC found that per DOAR, 10 percent of the unutilized banked energy at the end of the financial year will be considered purchased by the DISCOM. Per the regulation, the payment will be made at the average power purchase cost (APPC).

Therefore, MERC directed MSEDCL to purchase 10 percent of the unutilized banked energy at the end of the FY 2016-17, at the APPC rate of ₹3.35 (~$0.0457 )/kWh.

However, MERC struck down the petitioner’s other requests for the interest payments and the cost of the petition itself.

In a recent ruling by the MERC, it was clarified that the nodal agency will grant medium-term open access (MTOA) or short-term open access (STOA) in the existing distribution system only if the resultant power flow can be accommodated. MERC heard a petition filed by Roha Dyechem Pvt. Ltd. (RDPL) seeking MERC’s instructions to MSEDCL regarding the terms of open access permissions.

Recently, MERC dismissed a petition filed by G.I. Energies (GIE) against MSEDCL for not signing the energy purchase agreement (EPA) to purchase power at a preferential tariff on a long-term basis. G.I Energies, in its petition, mentioned that it had applied to MSEDCL to grant open access for third party consumption. However, MSEDCL denied the permission to GIE, citing a revision of the guidelines for granting open access.

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.