CERC Lifts Scheduling Restrictions Imposed on Two Solar Projects

The petitioners appealed that their projects were not among the 20 slated for curtailment by CEA


Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has stayed the scheduling restrictions imposed by the Western Regional Load Dispatch Centre (WRLDC) on Tata Power Renewable Energy’s (TPREL) and Electro Solaire’s (ESPL) solar power projects over the non-compliance of reactive power support.


Last October, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) directed 20 renewable energy projects that had received provisional or conditional connectivity approvals to submit compliance reports, specifying the capacity of non-compliance that should be curtailed or suspended until they fully meet the regulatory requirements.

Based on this direction, WRLDC issued directions restricting scheduling from TPREL and ESPL’s projects to the extent of 18%. As a result, TRPEL’s 100 MW project was restricted to 82 MW and ESPL’s 200 MW project to 164 MW on account of non-compliance with the Central Electricity Authority (Technical Standards for Connectivity to the Grid) Regulations.

The WRLDC directions were challenged by TPREL and ESPL in petitions before CERC, arguing that certain minutes of meetings and reports relied upon by WRLDC were not applicable to their projects.

They highlighted specific clauses in a working group report from 2022, which outline procedures and timelines for compliance with regulations for renewable generators connected to the grid. The petitioners claimed that, as their projects achieved commercial operation before the issuance of the working group report, they should be given a grace period of one year to comply with any regulations.

WRLDC contended that TPREL failed to fulfill its commitment regarding the installation of additional capacitive compensation. It contended that restrictions on the schedule of renewable energy generators connected to the grid were imposed due to non-compliance with Clause B2(1) of CEA Connectivity Standards. This action was taken based on CEA directions and meeting minutes.

TPREL stated that it had taken steps to comply with the requirements of the Working Group Report, 2022, by placing an order for equipment to provide reactive compensation for their 100 MW project.

It argued that WRLDC’s curtailment of power from their project violates Regulation 49(3) of the IEGC, 2023. They claim that WRLDC did not follow the prescribed procedure for curtailment, and their actions constitute a clear violation of statutory mandates.

TPREL claimed to have incurred a loss of approximately ₹5.8 million (~$69,921), resulting from the restrictions of their project’s active power.

Electro Solaire also presented similar submissions, highlighting substantial daily losses and a total loss of ₹13.73 million (~$165,520), with the potential for compounded losses if interim relief is not granted.

Commission’s Analysis

The Commission observed that as per Clause 6 Part-I of the Working Group Report, 2022, each renewable generator that has achieved commercial operation before the issuance of the Working Group Report, 2022, was mandated to conduct a study and submit the same for approval to the RLDC concerned.

Further, as per the Working Group Report, after scrutiny of documents, and in case some non-compliance is observed, such RLDC must inform the generator regarding the non-compliance, and 12 months must be given to make their plant compliant.

While noting that TPREL and ESPL’s projects do not find a place in the list of 20 renewable projects directed to be curtailed by CEA, the Commission granted interim relief against the imposition of scheduling restrictions imposed by the WRLDC on Tata Power Renewable’s and Electro Solaire’s solar projects.

“This order comes as a much-needed respite to TPREL and ESPL, which have been facing losses due to curtailment of their solar projects for almost two months now. CERC’s order underscores the intricate balance between securing renewable projects and maintaining the stability and efficiency of the national grid,” said Shri Venkatesh, Managing Partner, SKV Law Offices

In February, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission issued new guidelines to supplement the Deviation Settlement Mechanism Regulations 2022 to maintain grid security. These regulations came into force last December after wide-frequency fluctuations in the grid occurred. The regulator stipulated certain measures to contain frequency within the operating band.

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