The Madras High Court has upheld the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd. (TANGEDCO) demand for operation and maintenance (O&M) charges for wind energy generators (WEG).

Dismissing a batch of 35 writ petitions, challenging the demand, Justice V. Dhanapalan said that analysing the factors and considering the totality of the facts and circumstances coupled with TANGEDCO's grievance that it was incurring a huge loss because of the services rendered by it to the petitioners, the demand was in accordance with law.

However, the judge said that revision of charges from November 1 this year should be decided only after consulting all stakeholders.

Sri Jagathguru Textile Mills (P) Ltd, Vellakoil, Tirupur district and others challenged the proceedings of the Chief Engineer (NCES), TANGEDCO, Chennai of November 16 last year on the demand for O&M charges.

The petitioners said that every aspect of operations of transmission and distribution was covered under various heads of charges.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) had approved the rates of levy. The O&M charges were not approved.

The charges at Rs.1.60 lakh per MW per year from all WEGs with five per cent escalation every year was without basis.

Not part of tariff

Advocate-General A. Navaneethakrishnan contended that Infrastructure Development Charges were one time charges for creating evacuation facilities such as transformers and sub-stations.

The O&M charges were annual recurring expenditure for maintaining the same by TANGEDCO and were not part of the tariff.

Mr. Justice Dhanapalan said that when it was the bounden duty of the generating companies to establish, operate and maintain generating stations, tie-lines, sub-stations and dedicated transmission lines connected therewith, and the duty was being discharged by TANGEDCO at the generating companies' request, a right would certainly accrue in favour of the board to collect O&M charges. The petitioners' attempt to avoid liability would burden TANGEDCO with further loss, which would ultimately be passed on to the end consumers.