Jharkhand Regulator Rules Bokaro Steel’s Power Project is RPO-Compliant

The petitioner had sought confirmation of RPO compliance for FY 2014 to FY 2021

thumbnail

The Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) has recognized Bokaro Steel’s (BSL), a Steel Authority of India (SAIL) company, cogeneration plants as fulfilling renewable purchase obligations, citing their environmental benefits such as reduced emissions and fossil fuel conservation.

As a result, the captive power project at Bokaro Steel will count towards the renewable power purchase obligation (RPO) from FY 2013-14 to FY 2020-21.

Background

The petitioner, SAIL/BSL, sought exemption from RPO compliance for the fiscal years 2013-14 through 2020-21.

Bokaro Steel Plant has a distribution license from the Commission to supply power in its designated area under Section 14 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

According to the JSERC (Renewable Purchase Obligation and Compliance) (1st Amendment) Regulations, 2012 (“Regulations of 2012”), a distribution licensee becomes an “obligated entity” and must fulfill RPO under these regulations.

Currently, there are two sources of power supply: (a) captive generation from BPSCL [a captive power plant within BSL, operating as a joint venture between SAIL and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC)], and (b) energy imported from DVC.

The petitioner also sought recognition of Bokaro Power Supply Company (BPSCL), a captive power plant with a capacity of 338 MW, as a generation power project and exemption for Bokaro Steel from the applicability of RPO since its captive power project is a cogeneration project.

Commission’s Analysis                           

The Commission noted that “cogeneration” means a process that simultaneously produces two or more forms of useful energy. Cogeneration is also a process that simultaneously produces electricity and heat, both of which are utilized. The relevant law has not restricted this process to producing energy from any specific fuel type. It can involve fossil fuels or non-fossil fuels.

Section 86(1) (e) of the Electricity Act, 2003 clearly states that the Commission is responsible for promoting cogeneration and the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

The Commission observed that the petitioner had provided details regarding steam utilization for heating purposes, power generation, and the amount of fuel saved.

These details demonstrated that the cogeneration projects of BSL benefit the environment by reducing the release of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other impurities, which are highly poisonous and strong pollutants generated as by-products of converting these gases.

Additionally, the cogeneration plants contribute to environmental conservation by reducing the use of non-conventional fossil fuels.

The Commission, therefore, held that BSL’s cogeneration project met the requirements of the RPO percentage as specified in the JSERC (Renewable Purchase Obligation and its Compliance) (First Amendment) Regulation, 2012, and the JSERC (Renewable Purchase Obligation and its Compliance) Regulation, 2016.

Consequently, the energy generation of the cogeneration plant would be considered for fulfilling the RPO Obligation for FY 2013-14 to FY 2020-21.

Recently, JSERC issued Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Verification of Captive Generating Plants and Captive Consumers) Regulations, 2024.

Subscribe to Mercom’s real-time Regulatory Updates to ensure you don’t miss any critical updates from the renewable industry.

RELATED POSTS