Solar Developer Seeks Commissioning Deadline Extension from UPERC

The developer sought an extension of seven months and two weeks for its 50 MW solar project in the state


Eden Renewable Jasmin Private Limited, a subsidiary of solar project developer Eden Renewables, has filed a petition with the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) seeking an extension for the scheduled commissioning date (SCOD) of its solar projects in the state.

The company filed its petition with the Commission asking for an extension of seven months and two weeks in the scheduled commissioning date of its 50 MW solar project. The power purchase agreement (PPA) for this project was signed on December 12, 2018, and it was supposed to be commissioned within 21 months from this date.

The projects were part of the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency’s (UPNEDA) tender for 500 MW of solar projects. A tariff of ₹3.21 (~$0.043)/kWh was adopted for these projects as per the Commission’s order on September 17, 2019.

The developer had sought the extension in addition to the UPNEDA’s previously provided seven month and two-week extension for land acquisition and financial closure in its letter dated December 19, 2019. It said that it had already obtained the grant of connectivity on April 22, 2019, and the permission for land procurement was received on December 5, 2019.

The company said that it had approached the UPPCL asking for the extension but was directed by them to file a petition before the Commission. It noted that the project is entirely funded through foreign direct investments (FDI) and that lenders were willing to fund the project only subject to the extension of the SCOD.

Representatives for the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) – the other respondent in the case – and the UPNEDA submitted that they had not been served copies of the petition and sought two weeks for filing their counter-affidavits.

The Commission said that while 100% FDI in the state power sector is a welcome step, the requested SCOD extension will have repercussions in terms of liquidated damages levied and the impact of the ‘change in law’ clauses of the PPA on the project. It said that it would be necessary to assess the project on the ground.

Further, it directed the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition to the respondents in both electronic and physical formats at the earliest and allowed the respondent two weeks within receipt of the copy to file its rejoinder before the next hearing. In conclusion, it scheduled the matter for its next hearing on August 20, 2020.

Previously, the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) asked three solar power developers to verbally negotiate their disputes with the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission regarding the adoption of tariffs. The petitions were filed as the tariffs decided by the Commission in these three cases were lower than what was discovered through competitive bidding. In all three cases, the appellants filed petitions contesting against the UPERC’s decision to adopt a tariff that was lower than the rate discovered through competitive bidding for solar projects in the state.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Uttar Pradesh has 973 MW of large-scale solar projects in operation, and about 1.7 GW capacity is currently under development.

Image credit: Mariana Proenca