CERC Agrees to Extend Retrofitting Timeframe for Suzlon’s 7.4 GW of Wind Projects

The commission opined that the difficulties encountered by Suzlon in implementing its previous order were genuine

June 14, 2019


The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has issued an order providing relief to Suzlon which is operating 7,400 MW of wind energy projects which needed retrofitting.

Suzlon Energy Limited had filed a petition seeking an extension of time and to revisit clauses about the minimum capacity criteria for the applicability of low voltage ride through (LVRT) solution.

Suzlon’s petition was regarding the retrofitting of 7,400 MW of wind projects it had requested the CERC to extend the timeline for the implementation of LVRT further by a minimum period of two years from January 2018.

The company had also requested the commission to redefine the criteria for LVRT requirement, providing clarity about the features of the LVRT solution to be retrofitted, WTG certification process, and the mechanism for the reimbursement of the cost of retrofitting.

Suzlon had filed this petition seeking changes to a previous order issued by the CERC.

After going through the submissions and rejoinders, the CERC observed that in its previous order dated January 1, 2016, it had said that LVRT should be implemented for all wind turbines (except Stall Types) commissioned before April 15, 2014, that have an installed capacity of 500 kW or more.

The Commission further observed that according to the order, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was required to conduct a study regarding the technical feasibility of the installation of LVRT in the turbines having installed capacity less than 500 kW and submit a report to the commission within six months from the issue of that order. However, it failed to present the report.

The CERC noted that even after three and half years since the previous order, Suzlon has not been able to implement it due to issues like the requirement criteria for LVRT retrofitting, the requirement of WTG type test certification for retrofitted turbines and mechanism for the recovery of cost.

The commission recognized the difficulties faced by the petitioner and was of the view that it may not be proper to press the petitioner to comply with the order. Therefore, the CERC has provided Suzlon with the desired extension.

The commission also informed that the CEA had amended its ‘Technical Standards for Connectivity to the Grid Regulations, 2007’ that specifies the connectivity standards applicable to the wind generating stations, generating stations using inverters, wind-solar photovoltaic hybrid systems, and energy storage systems. Stating this, the CERC added that it would be appropriate to direct all the WTGs to comply with these amended regulations.

A few weeks ago, Suzlon announced its quarterly and annual results for the financial year (FY) 2019. The company reported that its consolidated net loss for the last quarter (Q4) of the year (ending March 31, 2019) had reduced to 2.94 billion ($35.6 million), a decrease of more than 1.75 billion ($25 million) compared to the same period last year.

The company’s revenue from operations for Q4 FY19 stood at 14.21 billion ($203 million), a decline of over 34% from the revenue of Q4 FY18.

In April 2019, Suzlon announced that it would sell two of its solar subsidiaries which operate solar projects of 30 MW capacity to Ostro Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of independent power producer, ReNew Power.

Before that, the company announced that it had completed the sale two of its subsidiaries to CLP Wind Farms (India) Ltd (CLP). Suzlon stated that it had sold the remaining stake in its subsidiaries S.E Solar Limited and Gale Solar Farms Limited for a consideration of ₹765.5 million ($11.1 million) and ₹225.4 million ($3.3 million) respectively.