CERC extends expiry date for RECs due to expire

The CERC had issued an order extending the validity of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) which were to expire between 15th May 2018 – 30th October 2018, up to 30th October 2018. There has now been an extension in the expiry of these RECs till 30th March 2019. A summary of the RECs likely to expire between 31st October 2018 to 31st October 2019.

Since the past year, the shelf life of the RECs has surpassed its expiry life of one year due to high supply but limited demand. Only post-November 2017 there has been a generous market realization of RECs (both solar and non-solar). Des[ite of this and the lack of enforcement there was a petition filed to extend the expiry of the RECs.

From the above inventory, it is evident that 1,83,999 RECs which have been issued prior to 01.04.2017 are due to expire within the next six months. This includes 38,651 Solar RECs and 1,45,348 Non Solar RECs. Hence the Commission is of the view that there is a need to extend the validity of RECs which are due to expire up to 31.03.2019.

The Commission in exercise of Power under Regulation 15 of REC Regulations has extended the validity of RECs which are due to expire between 31st October 2018 and 31st March 2019 up to 30th April 2019. Accordingly, RECs which are due to expire between 31st October 2018 and 31st March 2019 will remain valid up to 30th April 2019.

 

CERC announces regulations for implementation of Interstate Transmission System in the country

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) recently announced a regulation called the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Planning, Coordination and Development of Economic and Efficient Inter-State Transmission System by Central Transmission Utility and other related matters) Regulations, 2018 which came into effect from July 2018. The objectives of the regulation are to:

(1) Lay down the broad principles, procedures, and processes to be followed for planning and development of an efficient, coordinated, reliable and economical system of an inter-State transmission system (ISTS) for smooth flow of electricity from generating stations to the load centers;

(2) Ensure wider participation of stakeholders in the planning process and specify the procedures for stakeholders consultation and participation;

(3) Specify procedures to bring about transparency in the planning process; and

(4) Demarcate the roles and responsibilities of various organizations in line with the Act for meeting the above objectives;

The regulation states responsibilities of the concerned entities like the Central Transmission Utility, Transmission Licensees, Regional Power Committee (RPC), RLDCs, NLDCs & SLDCs respectively and their roles in implementing the above-stated objectives of the regulations. This regulation is in accordance with other CERC regulations like Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Procedure, Terms, and Conditions for grant of Transmission License and other related matters Regulations), 2009; Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Grant of Regulatory Approval for execution of Inter-State Transmission Scheme to Central Transmission Utility Regulations), 2010; and the Tariff Regulations issued by the Central Commission from time to time under section 61 of the Act.  

Further, the regulation has mentioned the process for the planning of the inter-state transmission and lastly, there are details provided for the process to be followed by CTUs and transmission licensee for application filing in order to start inter-state transmission.

The regulation has come well in time as there have been recent solar PV auctions with Interstate Transmission System connected solar projects. The regulations have also considered the augmentation of renewable capacity addition and Renewable Purchase Obligation with respect to each state in the country.

Creation of an RPO compliance cell, MNRE declares in its order

According to a recent order by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) dated 22 May 2018, a creation of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) Compliance cell is in process. This cell will be handling all the matters related to RPO compliance across states and publishing monthly reports on the updates.

The cell is expected to work in accordance with Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and SERCs. The cell is also expected to coordinate on publishing a periodic report with the Government of India and take up non-compliance issues with appropriate authorities.

In the past, there have been several efforts initiated by MNRE to increase awareness among RPO obligated entities regarding RPO obligations, and explaining its advantages to them.

With the help of this cell, data management, a repository of obligated entities, preparing state-wise defaulters lists and storing authorities specific information would be convenient.

Currently, there are some gaps in the implementation of RPO in some states, and with the creation of this cell, the issues can be taken care of state-wise, bringing the country closer to achieving its national target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy till 2022.

With the cell formation, supervision of the Renewable Purchase Obligation process across the country can be performed in a seamless manner. All the stakeholder information associated with the process can be maintained in one place making implementation and invigilation easy.

This is a very positive step by MNRE, as there will be a cell responsible for looking over the RPO compliance in the country, ensuring consistent implementation of RPOs across the states while publishing timely reports.

CERC gives a positive nod to extend the validity on RECs

CERC recently announced in its order dated 15th May 2018 that the RECs will be valid till 30th October 2018, which were otherwise expired/likely to be expired between 1st April 2018 and 15th October 2018.

The commission declared this in accordance to its power under Regulation 15 of REC regulations.

The extension related dates are as below:

Duration

Status of RECs

Validity as per the order

1st April 2018 to 14th May 2018

Expired

Extended till 30th October 2018

15th May 2018 to 30th October 2018

Likely to be expired

Extended till 30th October 2018

The issues which were prevailing since early 2017 and saw petitions from various parties seems to have finally come to rest.

More than 10 lakh RECs (9,52,533 Solar RECs; 1,09,520 Non-Solar RECs) were being affected due to the pending petitions. Majority of these RECs were solar which saw a halt in trading for almost 11 months since 8th May 2017.

Since ApTel was in the reviewing process of the petitions, the commission could not take any action on the extension of REC validity before 31st March 2018.

ApTel in its judgment as on 12th March 2018 has disposed all the petitions and upheld the commission’s order dated 30th March 2017 to continue the REC Floor and Forbearance Price applicable from 1st April 2017 onwards.

 The Commission was of the view that there was a requirement to extend the validity since the appeals were dismissed by the ApTel and there was no stay.

Earlier, the commission extended the validity up to 31 st March 2018 which was expired between 1st October 2017 and 31st March 2018 based on Supreme Court’s order dated 29.09.2017 on seeking necessary direction for extension of the validity of RECs.

Based on the recent order, the expired RECs will be added back to the seller’s account which was then removed by NLDC till 31.03.2018.

As per the recent trade dated 25th April 2018 on IEX and PXIL after a halt of a year, the clearance was as below:

Trading portal

Solar

Non-solar

IEX

6,44,151

1,36,979

PXIL

2,30,967

50,564

REVISION OF REC PROCEDURES BY CERC

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has released Model Guidelines for Accreditation of a Renewable Energy Based project or Distribution Licensee, as the case may be under REC mechanism. These regulations shall be applicable to all renewable energy based projects of generating companies which are grid connected. All sources recognized and approved by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy shall come under these regulations. Following are the major changes proposed in the procedures:

 

  1. Those renewable energy based Captive Generating Plants which do not fulfill the criteria as prescribed in the Electricity Act, 2005, shall not be eligible for accreditation for the energy generated by the plant for self consumption.

  1. Ownership of existing valid RECs shall be transferable by the central agency in case of change of legal status of registered entity. The procedures include the following conditions as change of legal status:

Change from partnership to company, Pvt. Limited to Public Limited, new entity subsequent to demerger, change in ownership of the company and asset sale/ transfer to another company, etc.”

  1. Revision of formats for Recommendation (checklist) from state agency and declaration.

  2. Application for revalidation or extension of validity of existing RECs shall be done at least three months in advance,prior to the expiry of existing registration by generating companies and distribution licensees.

  3. In case of reduction of the registered capacity of the RE generating plants, the application should be submitted online.

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.

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