Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) on behalf of DISCOMs , had approached Hon’ble CERC for certain amendments to REC regulations, enabling the former to claim solar RECs as “Eligible Entity” for excess procurement over & above the stipulated RPO targets. GUVNL had submitted (in Petition no. 128/MP/2013) that dis-allowance of RECs for excess solar power procurement after meeting RPO targets, is a disincentive for DISCOMs who have been buying solar power at promotional tariffs with an aim to promote solar power generation in the state.
The matter is unprecedented because an obligated entity (usually a buyer of RECs) wants to claim RECs for excess power procurement and not excess power generation.
In the order dated 2nd Dec 2013 (refer), GUVNL brought forward that DISCOMs had to tie up solar capacity of 380 MW to comply with RPO targets (of 1% in FY13). DISCOMs in-fact have signed PPAs of 971.5 MW solar capacity, that too at promotional tariffs.
GUVNL has also argued that buying costly solar power from developers is going to financially impact the consumers in the state as the higher cost of power procurement is passed on to them. To abrogate such a case, it proposes to claim RECs which will reward DISCOMs as well as take care of consumer interests. GUVNL also requested for a provision where RPO surplus DISCOMs are allowed to exchange RECs with RPO deficit ones by bypassing prevailing exchange based transactions. In our view, this particular demand questions the very purpose of having a double side closed fair market-based mechanism for RECs.
GUVNL had also prayed the apex commission puts in place a uniform solar RPO target for all states in India.
CERC, in the order, is of the view that current regulations stipulating generators only for claiming RECs is adequate for a healthy REC market. Hon’ble commissions decision can be read as -
“The Commission is of the view that the existing provisions of eligibility in the REC Regulations which is limited to generating companies is adequate at this stage of development of REC market. Without going into the merit of the issues raised, we intend to clarify that filing of the petition is not the proper process for initiating the amendment to the existing regulations. The Commission under Section 178 of the Act has been vested with the power to make, amend and repeal the regulations on the subjects which have been authorized under various provisions of the Act. Action to make or amend the regulations is initiated when the Commission is satisfied that there is need for such regulations or amendment to the existing regulations.”
However, the commission directed its staff to analyse the issue and come up with an appropriate proposal for consideration.
According to Press Information Bureau (Release ID :103402) the matter was brought to light by Hon’ble Minister of New & Renewable Energy in the Lok Sabha (on 7th Feb 2014). In a written reply Hon’ble Minister quoted that obligated entities were free to procure power over and above RPO targets and that any changes to existing regulations is a quasi-judicial process and the CERC takes a view after following due process of law including public hearing.