Rajasthan Clarifies How Wheeling Charges on Solar Projects are to be Applied
Captive solar project developers had petitioned the commission
The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has dismissed petitions filed by captive solar project developers seeking relief from applicable wheeling and banking charges.
In this case, the petitioners were: Goyal Fashions, Fruitful Buildcon, Jaies Star Continental Hotels LLP, Triton Hotels & Resorts, A K Spintex, Fashion Suitings, and Mayank Sharma Enterprises. They had filed separate petitions regarding the methodology adopted by distribution companies (DISCOMs) for the levy of wheeling charges.
Respondents in the case were: Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd., Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd., and Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd.
The petitioners had submitted that the wheeling and banking agreement provides that the wheeling charges will be payable in accordance with the RERC Tariff Regulations, 2014 and will be levied on the energy wheeled.
According to the petitioners, wheeling charges should be levied according to the state’s open access regulations, 2014 not the regulations that were issued in 2016.
The state commission observed that the only issue in the matter is that whether wheeling charges should be levied on the capacity contracted or the energy wheeled.
The RERC noted that for the purpose of wheeling charges, only the capacity contracted or the energy drawn (whichever is higher) will be considered. Regarding the request that wheeling charges will be payable according to the RERC Tariff Regulations, 2014, the commission noted that the wheeling charges are determined for the whole state based on overall network utilization as per the provisions of the relevant tariff regulations. When individually charged, the same has to be based on the provisions of the relevant open access regulations.
The Rajasthan commission clarified that the total energy based on the contracted capacity or the energy utilized by an open access consumer, whichever is higher, is the energy on which the wheeling charges have to be levied and collected and not on any other basis.
Stating this, the RERC dismissed the petitions filed by captive solar PV project developers.
Recently, the commission dismissed a petition filed by Tesco Energy Two for the adjudication of a dispute regarding power evacuation permission for a solar PV project.
Before this, the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission had earlier heard a petition filed by Arjun Green Power Pvt. Ltd. for the adjudication of a dispute regarding the extension of commercial operations date of the solar project and the determination of tariff and liquidated damages under the power purchase agreement. It had then clarified that for projects delayed beyond their commissioning timeline, the tariff applicable would be the one that was chosen for the year in which the project became commercially operational.