PSPCL recently petitioned the Punjab Electricity Regulatory Commission to amend its RPO from 2.4% (including 0.03% solar) to 1.65%. This is inline with the extent of RPO achieved in the state (1.67% non-solar and 0.0075% solar). The reasoning behind the request for reduction was that PSPCL suffered due to reduced RE generation (delays and closures of RE facilities), and its efforts to procure RE power from the market did not bear fruit. PEDA supported PSPCL’s petition.

The commission rejected the request [DOC file]. Instead, it allowed PSPCL to carry forward the RPO to next year. PSPCL will now have to meet the shortfall this year in addition to the current year RPO (2.9%).

In our analysis, a few things stand out in the petition:

  • PSPCL did not mention efforts to procure RECs from the market as a step it took to try and meet its RPO
  • The commission did mention it as one of the steps it can consider to meet its RPO in the current year. The order states: ” This carry forward shortfall in RPO compliance during 2011-12 to 2012-13 shall be in addition to the RPO specified in the RPO Regulations for that year, to be made good separately for non-solar and solar power as specified by the Commission, through purchase/generation of electricity from RE Projects on best efforts or in case of non-availability of such electricity, through purchase of RECs from the Power Exchange(s)”
  • It is unclear whether the waiver will also apply to open access and captive consumers. The order is specific to PSPCL, but this may open a way for a carry-forward for open access and captive consumers also

Overall, the order from the commission is in the right direction. Given the nascent stage that REC markets are in, it will be difficult to enforce full penalties due to non-compliance. However, waiver or retrospective change in RPO % would send a wrong signal to the market and obligated entities.