The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company, the main power utility, is set to resume signing power purchase agreements with wind developers in the state after a gap of almost three years. “The discom has assured us that pending PPAs of wind projects will be signed right away,” said Sunil Jain, president of the Wind Independent Power Producers Association. One developer confirmed that his company had been called to complete the formalities. “The discom will proceed in chronological order, with PPAs of those developers whose commissioned projects have been waiting the longest being signed first,” he said.
For the past three years, unused wind generating capacity had been piling up in Maharashtra, with the MSEDCL reluctant to buy power at high prices from developers who had completed their projects. Sustained pressure from the developers and some prodding by the Centre, which has embarked on an ambitious renewable energy programme, may have prompted the discom’s change of heart. MSEDCL did not respond to queries from ET. About 450 MW of installed wind turbines, amounting to an investment of over Rs3,000 crore, remained unutilised due to MSEDCL’s dillydallying and risked turning into nonperforming assets by the end of March. Continuum Wind Energy India has the largest commissioned capacity of 98.7 MW awaiting a purchase agreement, followed by Panama BSE 2.41 % Wind Energy Developers with 56 MW and NSL Renewable Power with 47.5 MW. Other developers similarly stranded include ReNew Power (10.5 MW), Orange Renewable Power (24 MW), Greenko (32 MW), Green Infra (22.5 MW) and IL&FS Energy Development (44 MW). With 4,661.91MW at the end of November 2016, Maharashtra had the second-highest installed capacity of wind power in the country, after Tamil Nadu. However, it added only 8.08 MW across the first eight months of 2016-17 from 4,653.83 MW at the end of March 2016.