Maharashtra Postpones Implementation of Deviation Settlement Regulations

Preparations delayed due to COVID-19 and cyclone Amphan


The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has rescheduled the implementation of its deviation settlement mechanism (DSM) regulations from June 1, 2020, to October 5, 2020.

Reason for the delay

Initially, it was decided that the commercial arrangement should come into effect by April 1, 2020. But in March 2020, the Commission reviewed the progress achieved on the preparations and observed that various software elements such as scheduling, meter data management, and DSM settlement and accounting were still under development. Given the various pending activities and also the subsequent outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission notified that the date for enforcing the regulations would be June 1, 2020.

However, the Commission later noticed that although progress had been made, there was a need to provide more time for further activities such as trial run operations of the newly developed software, new mechanism, and validation of trial run results.

Further, Maharashtra State Load Despatch Center (MSLDC), which is the implementing agency for the regulations, said that although significant progress had been made despite the present challenging situation such as nationwide lockdown on account of COVID-19 pandemic and Amphan cyclone, there had been an adverse impact on the intended progress of the software development and joint testing activities.

It further stated that the pending activities would be completed by June 15, 2020. It requested the Commission to grant additional time of four months for the trial period of DSM software before the commencement of the commercial operation.

Last year, Mercom had reported that the Commission exempted renewable energy qualified coordinating agencies (QCAs) for meter reading, data collection, and communication from paying scheduling and forecasting charges. However, the initial corpus that QCAs must deposit remained unchanged. Initially, the QCAs had been asked to deposit ₹25,000 (~$358)/MW as a corpus for solar and ₹50,000 (~$716)/MW for wind projects.

Meanwhile, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has also rescheduled the implementation of the fifth amendment of deviation settlement regulations from June 1, 2020, to December 1, 2020.  The extension was announced after the Commission received representations from several stakeholders expressing their difficulties in implementing the provisions of DSM due to the present crisis.