Utilities such as the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) should plan for procurement of power on long, medium and short-term basis to meet consumer demands, the Madras High Court has said.
Justice M. Jaichandren made the observation while dismissing writ petitions by TANGEDCO seeking quashing of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) (Unscheduled Interchange Charges and Related Matters) (Second Amendment) Regulations and the CERC (Indian Electricity Grid Code) (First Amendment) Regulations of March 5 this year.
TANGEDCO submitted that by the impugned amendments, CERC had narrowed down the operating frequency of electricity supply (grid frequency) by 0.2 Hertz in the grid code as well as in Unscheduled Interchange (UI) charges and related matters. Unscheduled Interchange is overdrawal or underdrawal of power from grid, deviating from the scheduled quantum .
The amendments in the grid code and UI regulations, relating to frequency bandwidth, were aimed only at promoting sale of power by power traders and exchanges. This would result in higher rates being paid for the power purchased from private generators at the cost of end users. Apart from UI charges, the petitioner would also have to pay the congestion charges to the Power Grid Corporation owing to lack of corridor required to get the power transmitted.
CERC countered that overdrawal to meet consumer demand was not in the interest of grid security and discipline. The utilities should plan for procurement to meet consumer demands. TANGEDCO was found to be overdrawing power on several occasions. Penalties had been imposed on it. It had defaulted in payment of UI dues.
The CERC said power cuts in Tamil Nadu were a result of cumulative and prolonged inaction on the part of TANGEDCO to make necessary arrangements for supplying sufficient power, taking into account consumer demands, by procuring sufficient quantity from power generating and transmitting agencies.
Mr. Justice Jaichandren said the CERC had issued the impugned regulations to ensure stable and secure operation of grid. TANGEDCO had not been able to show that they were arbitrary and unreasonable.