TEEJAC fears power tariff hike

TEEJAC picks holes in discoms’ PPA with Chhattisgarh govt.

The Telangana Electricity Employees’ JAC cautioned that consumers of Telangana may have to bear exorbitant costs in exchange for uncertain and delayed availability of power if the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Chhattisgarh government is approved.

Raising several objections over the PPA signed between Telangana discoms and Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company (CSPDCL) for supply of 1,000 MW of power, K. Raghu, coordinator of the TEEJAC, urged the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) not to approve the PPA and instead conduct public hearings to elicit views of stakeholders. Prominent among the questions that he raised was why the MoU route was chosen over the competitive bidding, when the power that would arrive two years later would not offer any specific advantage to address the present power crisis.

Completion of Wardha-Maheshwaram line would take two years, and even after completion of the line, Telangana would get its turn only after allotment to other stakeholders who had applied earlier. Further, the carrying capacity of the line can be exploited in full only on completion of all connecting upstream and downstream lines. Competitive bidding should be the preferred mode even after achievement of grid connectivity, as many generators and suppliers -- both from public and private sectors -- are willing to supply at very competitive tariffs

“This PPA is as open as a proforma or a template which can be filled unilaterally by the CSPDCL. This cannot be termed as an agreement between two equal parties…. There are several ambiguities and missing links which need to be addressed before proceeding any further. The provisions of PPA are completely biased in favour of CSPDCL,” the letter addressed to TSERC noted. Mr. He questioned the absence of tariff figure at which the power would be procured, and urged TSERC not to give its consent without such details. The caveat pertaining to recovery of fixed charges too is alarming because it entitles the supplier to recover fixed charges even if the procurers do not schedule entire capacity. This means that even if the TS discoms are allotted corridor less than 1,000 MW, they should pay charges for the full capacity, which would lay hundreds of crores of rupees’ burden on the State. Further, the PPAs are treated as separate agreements with each of the two discoms, which could curb the discoms’ freedom in sharing of power.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 3:33:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/teejac-fears-power-tariff-hike/article7763803.ece

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