Stop Curtailing Solar and Wind Power: High Court to Andhra Pradesh
The state has begun curtailing wind power and is set to cancel 21 wind PPAs
The Amaravati High Court has issued an order asking the state load despatch center (SLDC) and the state’s transmission company (APTRANSCO) to stop the curtailment of power from solar and wind energy projects.
Recently, the Amaravati High Court had imposed a stay order on the implementation of the state DISCOM’s letter seeking a revision in the power purchase agreement for the solar PV and wind projects. The stay will be in place until August 22, 2019, after which the court will hear the matter. However, even after the stay order, the state began severely curtailing wind power, which was confirmed to Mercom by wind developers with assets in the state.
In the latest order, the Amaravati High Court has noted that the matter of revisiting of power purchase agreements is under consideration and a stay order has been issued until August 22, 2019. As such, the SLDC or APTRANSCO cannot curtail power generated from such projects whose developers or owners have approached high court seeking relief.
The court reaffirmed the must-run status of solar and wind projects and has asked the APTRANSCO to provide a written justification for the curtailment.
These developments come on the heels of the state’s new chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy’s newly-formed committee to deliberate and bring down the costs in all the high-priced PPAs for wind and solar power projects signed during the term of the previous government, alleging corruption.
Following the state’s surprise move, the Power Minister had written to the chief minister asking him to exercise restraint in the matter and not hurt investor interests in the state. However, the state went ahead with its decision, making the developers seek legal support. Later, Singh also penned down his apprehensions about the proceedings in a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah.
Moreover, the National Solar Energy Foundation of India (NSEFI) wrote a letter to the Minister of Power R.K. Singh, requesting for his immediate intervention in the curtailment of renewable energy projects in Andhra Pradesh despite the “must-run” status accorded to them. “A significant adverse action being undertaken by the state instrumentalities is rampant backing down of both wind and solar power by the Andhra Pradesh State Load Despatch Centre (APSLDC). As you are aware, wind and solar power projects have been accorded a ‘must-run’ status under the applicable laws. Despite the must-run status accorded to such projects, our member companies were being subjected to curtailment regularly through verbal instruction issued by APSLDC,” stated the letter.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.