Delhi’s power regulator DERC has imposed penalties to the tune of Rs 1.71 crore on discom TPDDL and Rs 2.88 crore each on BYPL and BRPL for defaulting on renewable energy purchase obligations (RPO) for three financial years. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission(DERC) in its order last month found default on the part of the three power discoms in meeting their RPO.
A spokesperson of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) said the order by DERC was under examination and an appropriate course of action will be decided. “Sufficient renewal power or REC (renewable energy certificate) is not available at reasonable rates at power exchanges, to meet RPO compliance.
“If discoms meet RPO obligation in an uneconomical way it will have serious negative financial implications and will in fact burden consumer with additional tariff,” he added. BSES discoms have signed long term agreements for around 1700 MW green power at a very competitive rate, which will raise the share of renewable energy in BSES portfolio to 27 percent by 2021-22, said a company spokesperson.
“BSES will achieve 100 percent RPO requirement from 2021-22 onwards and surplus energy from renewable energy will help BSES to offset accumulated RPO shortfall of the previous years,” he said. The order was passed on petitions filed by Green Energy Association and Indian Wind Power Association with DERC against TPDDL, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL).
The petitioners sought action against the discoms under the DERC (Renewable Purchase Obligation and Renewable Energy Certificate Framework Implementation) Regulations, 2012, for alleged failure to meet the RPO. Green Energy Association sought action against discoms for non-compliance of solar RPO in 2012-13 and 2013-14. The other petitioner- Indian Wind Power Association- claimed non-compliance of RPO for financial years 2012-13 to 2014-15.
The Commission in its order observed “there is no doubt that discoms have failed to meet their RPO.” The order said, “Keeping in view all factors and various directions of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), it is established that failure of discoms to meet the RPO make them liable to pay penalty.”
A penalty of Rs one lakh for each year of default and an additional Rs 5000 per day fine for continuing default till discoms met the RPO for a given year, was imposed by the Commission. As per an affidavit filed by TPDDL, the RPO for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 were complied with on February 22, 2017, October 25, 2017, and November 29, 2017, respectively.
The penalty in case of TPDDL is Rs 66,60,000(2012-13), Rs 60,20,000 (2013-14), and Rs 45,10,000 (2014-15). The order stated that no compliance of RPO has been reported by BRPL and BYPL and they are in continuous default of meeting the RPO. The BSES discoms were ordered to pay the penalties separately.
The penalty calculated in their case is Rs 1,13,60,000( 2012-13), Rs 96,35,000(2013-14) and Rs 78,10,000 (2014-15). The continuing default in the case of BRPL and BYPL was calculated up to September 20, 2019. The BSES spokesperson said these penalties are for the financial year 2012-2015, during which period, the BSES discoms had sought deferment of RPO as the prices of RECs were “extremely” high, even going up to Rs 15 per unit.
The petitioners had maintained that the Commission allocated fund to the respondent discoms for the purchase of renewable energy certificates(RECs) to meet the RPO. But even when RECs were available in the market, no efforts were made by them to fulfill their RPO, the petitioners had alleged. The DERC had issued notices which were replied by the respondent discoms. After hearing their submissions, the Commission reserved the matter for the final order which was announced on September 18 this year.
The Commission has ordered the respondent discoms to pay the penalties within one month of the order.