The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has ruled in favour of Adani Group firms and has set aside an order passed by State regulator directing the firms to file a petition regarding backing down (unplugging of power from the State grid) instructions for solar power as a Dispute Resolution Petition.
In June 2017, Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) had rejected a miscellaneous petition filed by M/s. Ramnad Solar Power Ltd, Adani Green Energy (Tamil Nadu) Ltd and Kamuthi Renewable Energy Ltd, all part of the Adani Group.
The firms had sought relief against the back-down instructions and sought for direction to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) to ensure must-run status for solar power plants.
Against the plea’s rejection, the firms moved APTEL for relief. In their petition, the firms said their projects were constructed and considerable investment of over ₹2,450 crore was made based on the statutory frame work and the State’s solar policy with a legitimate expectation of a tariff of ₹7.01 per unit.
It also said since the commissioning of solar projects, they have been directed to back down the units. The firms also claimed that the incongruent stance taken by the State regulator has led to delay of three years in grant of relief and resulted in adverse financial impact.
They pointed out that the TNERC had admitted a similar plea by National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) as a miscellaneous petition and had passed an order in March 2019.
The State Commission ought to treat the issue of “must run” status under regulatory power, instead of treating it as a dispute, the firms said.
They pointed out that the TNERC had treated NSEFI petition as miscellaneous petition and decided the issue under its regulatory powers and relief was granted to all solar power developers in the state of Tamil Nadu. “Such differential and discriminatory treatment of the firms petition vis-à-vis NSEFI’s case shows non-application of mind by the State Commission, the APTEL noted.
It directed the TNERC to hear the case and told the firms to appear before it on July 1, 2019.