VALIDITY OF RECS WHICH WERE ABOUT TO GET EXPIRED BETWEEN OCTOBER ’17 AND MARCH ’18 GETS EXTENDED BY SIX MONTHS

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has in its order dated 29/08/2017, declared that those Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) which were expiring between 1st October 2017 and 31st March 2018 are now going to remain valid till 31st March 2018. In its order dated 30th March 2017, the commission had extended the validity of RECs which were going to expire between 1st April 2017 to 30th September 2017 till 31st March 2018.

 

The order  can be accessed here.

MOP DETERMINES GUIDELINES FOR FOR COMPETITIVE BIDDING FOR POWER PROCUREMENT FROM SOLAR PV PROJECTS

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has released the guidelines for procurement of power from grid connected solar PV power projects. The guidelines are applicable to solar PV projects of size 5 MW and above. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a direction for proper electricity procurement by distribution licensees and to protect the interest of the consumers. Also to make this process transparent and uniform.

 

Following are the salient features of the guidelines:

 

  • The appropriate Commission shall be CERC only in case if the distribution licensee is located in more than one state

  • SERCs will be the appropriate commission in case if there is a single distribution licensee.

  • The conditions to be met by the procurer are as follows:

  • The bid document should be prepared in accordance with the guidelines of MoP and the Standard Bidding Documents.

  • Clearances need to be procured from the end procurer, the agency developing the solar park.

  • Procurer has to specify where the project has been set up.

  • The bid structure shall be as follows:

  • The bids will be designed in terms of packages where the minimum will be 50 MW and the bids may be in energy quantity or power capacity terms.

  • The procurer may opt for either ‘tariff as bidding parameter’ or ‘VGF as the bidding parameter’.

  • The PPA period should not be less than 25 years and it can be in terms of energy or power. Repowering will be allowed from time to time for the duration of the PPA.

  • In case of default by the power generator, it shall be liable to pay the solar power generator as written in the PPA. Also, in such a case, the lender shall be allowed to exercise their right to substitution as per the substitution agreement provided in the PPA.

  • In case if the procurer is at default, it shall give its part of the PPA to a third party in the given time. In case if that is not done, the solar generators have a choice to terminate the PPA.

  • Once the procurer calls for bids, a single stage bidding process shall be followed. The procurer can also chose if an e-reverse auction shall be held. It is the responsibility of the procurer to give the details of the bidding process in case of a Solar park specific project.

  • For bid submission and evaluation, the bidders may form a consortium and chose a leader who shall be the focal point of contact. Also, for evaluation of bids, the procurer may form a committee. The technical and price bids shall be submitted separately along with a bid guarantee. Minimum number of bidders should be two and a proper methodology shall be followed for bid evaluation.

  • A 30 day period shall be given for bid submission from the issuance of RfS document. A table containing the time table for bid process is given in the guidelines attached below.

  • Bank guarantees such as earnest money deposit and performance bank guarantee need to be submitted.

The guidelines can be accessed here.

CERC REJECTS IEX’S PROPOSAL FOR GDAM

The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), so as to provide the obligated entities more number of ways to fulfill their RPO compliance, had proposed to the CERC to allow the existing renewable energy generators to trade RE on IEX.

 

For the same, it had proposed that the following contracts including Green Day Ahead Market (G-DAM) which includes Solar and non-solar day ahead market be introduced. If the bid made in the G-DAM is not cleared or cleared partially, they can bid in DAM. Also, in lieu of the bid cleared in DAM, the seller will get equal number of RECs.

This order was rejected by the CERC and the following reasons were given for the same:

  • As per CERC, the status regarding the availability of surplus power is not clear. Also, based on the experiences in the past, it can be established that such trade will not lead to addition of new RE capacity.

  • The IEX has supposed that there are no discrepancies in the forecasting and scheduling for RE generators which is not the case. Therefore, their suggestions of remove the need for revision flexibility during the day is not valid.

  • Based on the suggestions of IEX which mentioned that in case if the bid made in the G-DAM is not cleared or cleared partially, they can bid in DAM, it can be assumed that the situation will lead to registration of RE sellers for FIT route as well as REC mechanism. This will demand that a system be established where there is proper accreditation, registration, accounting of RE generation and settlement mechanism.

  • The G-DAM market may dissuade the buyers from entering into long term contracts which provide comfort to RE investors.

  • The guidelines related to the timelines for scheduling of power traded will have to be amended as per IEX which the commission felt will be an unnecessary step right now.

  • IEXs recommendations assume that the the green power traded in G-DAM will follow the same scheduling procedure as that followed by conventional power. Therefore, the commission feels that there is no need to introduce a separate segment for trading.

The order can be accessed here.

SUPREME COURT ALLOWS CONDITIONAL TRADING FOR NON SOLAR RECs

The matter of CERC’s order on new RECs pricing and the stay granted by the SC on trading, another  hearing was held in Supreme Court on 14th July 2017.

 

Main highlights of the Order:

 

  • An Intervention appeal was filed  requesting  obligated entities to purchase RECs at previous prices i.e. Rs 1500/ REC (MWH) with the additional amount deposited with the CERC

 

  • The Supreme Court allowed this, and directed that the differential price (Rs 500/REC) i.e. between the earlier floor price (Rs 1500/REC) and the present Floor Price(Rs 1000/REC) to be held by CERC during the pendency of the matter with Appellate Tribunal

 

  • Therefore, stay on the REC Trading (only for Non Solar RECs) have been withdrawn by Supreme Court and trade is likely to start. However, we believe that it will be some time before trading can start as CERC will have to develop modalities to accept such a deposit.

 

  • The stay on Solar RECs trading remains in place, and the hearing on that matter will be held  in due course

 

Today (17/July/17) the Appellate Tribunal was due to hear the above matter, but it has been postponed to a later date.

 

Implications of the SC order:

 

  • Trading will resume in the case of Non-solar RECs, but will remain suspended in the case of Solar RECs. However, we believe that it will be some time before trading can start as CERC will have to develop modalities to accept such a deposit.

 

  • Despite the start of trading, it is very unlikely that any meaningful demand for Non-solar RECs will materialise. Given the lack of any pressure to comply with RPOs, it is unlikely that any obligated entity will spend a higher amount while the matter is still sub-judice in the ApTel.

The SCs order can be accessed here

Our previous analysis of the order on stay of REC trading can be accessed here

 

An article, covering the order was published Business Standard. REConnect was quoted in the article suggesting that ““Trading will resume in the case of Non-solar RECs, but will remain suspended in the case of Solar RECs. However, we believe that it will be some time before trading can start as CERC will have to develop modalities to accept such a deposit”.

MOP WAIVERS TRANSMISSION CHARGES AND LOSSES ON ELECTRICITY FROM SOLAR SOURCES

This is an attempt to encourage solar and wind  energy in the country, the Ministry of Power (MoP) had waived off the inter-state transmission charges and losses on the electricity generated by wind and solar sources of energy in September last year. That order has now been amended by the MoP  and as per the new order, transmission charges and losses are wavered off only on solar projects.  The MoP, after consultation with MNRE, CEA, CERC and POSOCO, has notified the following:

For generation projects based on solar resources, the waiver will be on projects commissioned till 31/12/2019. The waiver will be available till 25 years of date of commissioning of such projects and on solar  projects entering PPAs for sale of electricity to DISCOMs for compliance of RPO. The remaining of the terms and conditions remain the same as the 2016 order.

As per our analysis, this order by the MoP has a number of limitations. First of all, it is only applicable to solar projects from which the electricity will be sold to the DISCOMs. Secondly, it will only be on those solar projects entering PPAs for the compliance of RPO.

The order released in 2016 can be accessed here.

SUPREME COURT ORDERS STAY ON REC TRADING

After the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (CERC) order dated 30th March 2017 on reduction of prices for RECs, many REC-generating companies had filed petitions stating that they had incurred a loss as vintage multiplier was not provided. They had first gone to Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (APTEL) to suggest a way to clear the existing REC stock. While the APTEL agreed to introduce a vintage multiplier, it refused to put a stay on the trading.  When the petition was taken to the supreme court, it not only put a stay on the trading, it has also stayed the new price regime which was introduced by the CERC.

 

The Business Standard article covering the same can be accessed here.

Our blog covering the reduction in the REC prices and our analysis of the same can be accessed here.

DETERMINATION OF FEE AND CHARGES PAYABLE UNDER REGULATION 12 OF THE CENTRAL ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION (TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR DEALING IN ENERGY SAVINGS CERTIFICATES) REGULATIONS, 2016:

In a recent order dated 24.03.2017, the apex electricity regulator CERC has finalised the fees and charges payable by the Designated consumers to the registry for the purpose of meeting the cost and expenses towards the management of registry and software platform.


The fees and charges determined through this order may be applicable upto Financial Year 2019-20  or as may be determined by the CERC in consultation with Registry and the Administrator


The Fees & charges applicable are tabled below:

 

With this, the only thing remaining to be approved are the exchange rules and charges for trading. Once that is done, all the procedural aspects to enable ESCerts trading will be completed. We expect trading to start sometime in the second half of April.


The link to the order can be found here.

CERC DECLARES NEW REC FLOOR AND FORBEARANCE PRICE

CERC came up with draft regulations in which they have reduced the prices of their Renewable Energy Certificates to a historic low. The new floor and forbearance prices from the same have been covered in our previous blog which also contains a link of the draft regulation.

REConnect Energy’s co-founder and director, Vibhav Nuwal made the following observations about the scenario in Business Standard “This change rewards non-compliant companies, which can now comply at a much lower cost. It will exert further pressure on distressed projects”.

 

CERC DECLARES NEW REC FLOOR AND FORBEARANCE PRICE

Honorable Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has determined floor and forbearance prices for REC (solar and non-solar)  which will be valid from April 1, 2017 onwards. The prices have reduced significantly and the solar prices are set to reduce from Rs 3,500 to Rs 1,000 and the non-solar REC prices are set to reduce from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,000.

 

No Vintage Multiplier has been proposed for any technology and existing vintage multiplier for Solar generating technologies registered in REC mechanism prior to 1st January 2015 and shall expire after 31st March 2017.

 

The proposed floor and forbearance prices are given below:

 

The following is the REC price trend:

 

The impact of this price reduction on different aspects is as follows:

Impact on existing REC projects:

  • Reduction in floor price will aggravate the financial duress of RECs based projects: Already the newly established REC projects are under distress. Reduction in the floor price will only aggravate the situation as the number of unsold RECs will increase.

  • No Vintage Multiplier: The draft does not clearly state the position on multiplier to be provided on existing inventory of RECs.

Impact on obligated entities:

  • Perverse gain for defaulting Obligated Entity: Obligated entities which are non-compliant will benefit from reduction in prices since they will have an option to purchase RECs and fulfill their RPO compliance at a lower rate. This has never been addressed by the CERC or the state ERC’s,

 

  • Potential higher demand going forward: Most captive and open access based customers will find it easier to buy RECs than to buy green power. Therefore, the low prices may lead to an increase in the REC demand.

 

Impact on the market:

  • Low Demand in March 2017: Since the new prices will be applicable from 1st April, 2017, March will see minimum demand as the Obligated entities will have an option to comply with RPO compliance in the next FY.

 

  • Higher Inventory and therefore lower clearing ratios: If the appropriate multiplier is provided to the existing inventory, the inventory of unsold RECs will jump to 3.6 crore RECS as compared to 1.7 crore RECs as present. Even lower clearing ratios will be experienced at exchanges if the demand does not increase in proportion.

Other issues:

  • Calculation of floor price

  • Validity of RECs

 

The previous analysis of CERCs floor and forbearance for financial year 2012 to 2017 can be found here.

CERC Determines fees for issuance of Renewable Energy Certificates

In a recent amendment in the Regulation 11 of the REC Regulations, CERC determined the fees and charges payable by the eligible entities for participation in the scheme for, registration, eligibility of certificates, issuance of certificates, and other matters connected there with.  Following are some of the highlights of the regulation:

 

a)      Fees and charges other than those for issuance of certificates would be continued as they are at present until further orders.

 

b)      The fee for issuance of certificate for the period from 22.4.2013 till the date of issuance of next order by the Commission was determined at the rate of Rs 10/certificate.

 

c)      The fee for issuance of certificate for the period from 1.4.2015 till the date of issuance of next order by the Commission was to be regularized at the rate of Rs 4/certificate.

 

d)      The fees for issuance of certificate for the period from 1.1.2017 until further orders is determined to be Rs 2/- per certificate.

 

The regulation can be accessed here.

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