Wind Developer Moves CERC Against PGCIL for Not Extending Transmission Line Deadline

Avikaran Solar India Private Limited, a subsidiary of Enel Group, has filed a petition with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) against the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) seeking relaxation of two years stipulated for the construction of the transmission system for its wind project in Gujarat.

Avikaran Solar is developing a 285 MW wind power project,and it had entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in 2018. PGCIL had granted stage-II connectivity to Avikaran Solar for its Bhuj pooling substation. The petitioner was required to build a transmission system from the project to PGCIL’s Bhuj pooling substation.

According to the agreement, Avikaran Solar should have completed the transmission system within 24 months from the date of bay allocation at PGCIL’s substation (by July 18, 2020). However, PGCIL’s transmission system has been delayed, and it would be ready only by December 2020.

Considering the delay in the completion of the project due to uncontrollable events, SECI extended the scheduled commercial operation date (SCoD) for the project to July 18, 2021. Avikaran Solar conveyed to PGCIL about the extension granted by SECI. However, PGCIL did not accept Avikaran Solar’s request for extension of time for the completion of the transmission system.

After hearing the facts presented by Avikaran Solar, the Commission admitted the petition and directed the developer to serve a copy of the petition to PGCIL.

The Commission also directed PGCIL to submit:

  • Status of the transmission line as informed by Avikaran Solar
  • Status of associated bays and all interstate transmission system (ISTS) elements, with actual and expected commissioning dates

Avikaran Solar further requested the Commissions to restrain PGCIL from taking any coercive action against it until the disposal of the petition. Considering the submissions, the Commission directed PGCIL not to take any coercive action against Avikaran Solar until the next date of the hearing.

Meanwhile, considering the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the Ministry of Power has extended the scheduled commercial operation date of interstate power transmission projects that were under construction on the date of the lockdown (March 25, 2020). The government has provided an extension of five months for these projects.

In March 2020, Mercom reported that the CERC gave a transmission license to Powergrid Bhuj Transmission Limited (a subsidiary of PGCIL) to build transmission systems for 2 GW of renewable energy projects in Gujarat.In August 2019, PGCIL had won contracts to set up the transmission system for providing connectivity to renewable energy projects at Bhuj-11 (2,000 MW) in Gujarat and also develop transmission systems associated with LTA application from Rajasthan Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) Part – C.