CERC Overlooks Procedural Delays, Grants RECs to Captive Generator in Uttar Pradesh
The petitioner has a 7.4 MW biofuel project in Uttar Pradesh
In a recent order, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) directed the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) and Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) to issue the renewable energy certificate (RECs) to Rana Sugars, the petitioner, for a period from March 2016 to April 2017.
The commission observed that the RECs were denied on account of procedural and technical issues on which the respondent has no power or authority and that it could only be permitted by the commission.
Rana Sugars, a company having a captive power project, filed a petition with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) against the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) and Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA), seeking directions for the issuance of pending RECs and reaccreditation of the petitioner’s project under the REC mechanism.
Rana Sugars has an installed capacity of 27.4 MW out of which 7.4 MW is registered under the REC mechanism.
The company had requested the CERC to direct the two respondents to provide the petitioner an online link to submit the application for reaccreditation with the state agency and after that, renew the registration of its project under the REC mechanism. It had also requested the commission to direct the respondents to allot the RECs for the period between March 2016 and April 2017 and also direct them to pay the costs of the instant petition.
In November 2011, the captive power project of Rana Sugars was commissioned, and in January 2012, the company was awarded a Certificate of Accreditation for 7.4 MW capacity utilizing biofuel generation (non-solar) valid for a period of five years (January 12, 2017). On August 2, 2012, Rana Sugar registered 7.4 MW under the REC mechanism for a period of five years (August 1, 2017).
On March 28, 2016, the commission amended the REC Regulations, 2010 and inserted a clause that said that a captive generation project based on renewable energy sources having self-consumption will be eligible to participate in the REC program if it is commissioned between September 29, 2010, and March 31, 2016, and registered with NLDC under REC program on or before June 20, 2016.
Later in October 2016, the petitioner was required to apply for the reaccreditation of its project with UPNEDA (Respondent 2) at least three months before the date of expiry of its accreditation.
In June 2017, the petitioner informed UPNEDA to write a mail to NLDC asking them to restore the link so that it may be able to file the online application. After a month in July 2017, Rana Sugars again sent a letter to UPNEDA, requesting to provide the online link to submit the online application for reaccreditation with the state agency immediately and after that, renew the registration of the project under the REC mechanism. On August 11, 2017, the respondent, however, sent an email to the petitioner rejecting its request for revalidation of the accreditation certificate of the latter “without giving any cogent reason for the same.”
The commission in its order stated that the petitioner did not comply with the provisions of the REC Regulations, 2010 and its detailed procedure, and has accepted its mistake regarding the non-initiation of the process of revalidation of reaccreditation of the project under REC mechanism before three months of the expiry of the existing registration, as stipulated in the Model Guidelines for Accreditation of a Renewable Energy Generation Project or Distribution Licensee.
The commission observed that the RECs were denied on account of procedural and technical issues. “The commission condones the procedural delay by the petitioner in applying for revalidation for accreditation. In view of the above, the Commission directs the respondents to issue the RECs for the period from March 2016 to April 2017,” the commission’s order stated.
In May 2019, Mercom reported that the CERC had issued an order extending the validity of RECs which were due to expire between April 1, 2019, and October 31, 2019, thus giving much relief to renewable energy generators of both solar and non-solar projects which are a part of the REC mechanism.
In October 2018, the central commission had issued an order extending the validity of 183,999 RECs that were issued before April 1, 2017.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.