Tamil Nadu

Aptel sets aside tariff order for biomass plants

Producers’ association finds capital cost of ₹ 5.50 crore per MW extremely low

Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel), New Delhi, has set aside the components of tariff determined by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) for biomass plants in 2016.

Biomass is an industry term for organic material from plants and animals used as fuel. The Biomass Power Producers Association, Tamil Nadu, had challenged the components of the generic tariff for biomass-based generating stations issued by the TNERC on March 31, 2016, before Aptel. It had named the TNERC and Tangedco as respondents. The association pointed out that the capital cost of ₹5.50 crore per MW was extremely low, while the TNERC and Tangedco justified it on the ground that it was 24% more than the previous order.

However, Aptel rejected the TNERC’s plea that it has to follow its own regulations and database for arriving at various parameters to be allowed to the biomass plants.

“In fact, the determination of tariff has to be undertaken by State Commissions as per their own regulations, but the various parameters influencing the capital cost have to be based on certain realistic data and its due analysis. Pending such collection of data and prudent analysis, the State Commissions could make reference to the data and analysis of the Central Commission, which is referred to by almost all State Regulatory Commissions,” it said.

The Aptel said there could not be a uniform capital cost for biomass plants using different technologies. The capital cost of ₹6.10 crore per MW as determined by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) at that time for rice straw and juliflora (plantation) based biomass plants with water-cooled condensers, may also be considered for the power plant of the Biomass Power Producers Association in Tamil Nadu using same technology. Noting that determination of various parameters for setting the tariff for biomass plants by the State Commission as inadequate, Aptel said the same must be looked into afresh by the State Commission. It is directed to pass an appropriate order within three months, it said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 12:00:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aptel-sets-aside-tariff-order-for-biomass-plants/article30898896.ece

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