Uttar Pradesh Regulator Allows Solar Energy Generator to Withdraw Banked Energy

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC), in a recent petition, heard a solar energy generator’s request to withdraw the banked power. The Commission ruled that appropriate treatment of the banked power was required only for the period from January 2021 to March 2021, for which the period of withdrawal had lapsed.

The state regulator added that the generator had the chance to withdraw banked energy during the disputed slots as per the clarification provided by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL). However, the solar energy generator could not convince the Commission that appropriate steps were taken and that the state load despatch center (SLDC) denied the withdrawal of banked energy.

The Commission directed UPPCL to file a response within three weeks, in which it should clearly mention the course of action taken for the withdrawal of banked energy from January 2021 to March 2021.

Amrit Bottlers had filed a petition with the Commission seeking clarification regarding the withdrawal of banked energy and direct UPPCL to allow it to withdraw banked energy for the period from January 2021 to March 2021.


Background

Amrit Bottlers, the solar energy generator, has a 10 MW solar power project in the Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh, which was commissioned on October 14, 2020. Out of the total capacity, 6 MW is for captive use, and the power from the remaining 4 MW project is being sold on power exchanges or to third parties.

The generator signed a banking agreement with UPPCL on December 30, 2020. It also signed a bulk power wheeling agreement with UPPCL and a bulk power transmission agreement with UPPCL and the Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited (UPPTCL). The generator also secured long-term open access from UPPTCL on August 13, 2020, for supplying power to its captive project.

However, the generator had not been able to withdraw the power banked from January 2021, as UPPCL and SLDC had not allowed it. Hence, there was no question of selling the banked power to third-party or on exchanges.

The generator added that even if the withdrawal of banked energy was allowed, it would be for its own use and not for sale.

The SLDC, in its response, said that no solar generator had approached it for the withdrawal of banked energy.

Commission’s analysis

The Commission observed that the issues related to the time-of-day slots, peak and off-peak hours for power banking, and the requirement of open access for withdrawal of banked energy had already been addressed in its earlier order.

The Commission added that clarity and appropriate treatment was needed only for the withdrawal of banked energy from January 2021 to March 2021.

The state regulator further added that the generator always had the provision of withdrawal of banked energy during the four slots as per the clarification of UPPCL. However, it could not present before the Commission the steps that were taken for the withdrawal and that there was a denial by SLDC. It added that there was no requirement for short-term open access to withdraw banked energy.

Considering the matter, the Commission noted that no response had been submitted by UPPCL. Thus, the Commission directed UPPCL to file its response within three weeks and clarify the steps to be taken to withdraw banked energy from January 2021 to March 2021.

Last December, UPERC ruled that peak hours for banking and withdrawal of energy would be from 18:00 to 24:00 and off-peak hours from 00:00 to 18:00. The Commission determined the peak and off-peak hours while disposing of a petition filed by an open access solar project developer.

Earlier, UPERC had shed light on what qualifies to be a captive generation project and when they can withdraw banked energy.

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