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The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has issued the Cross Border Trade of Electricity Regulations, 2019

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has issued the Cross Border Trade of Electricity Regulations, 2019

Reforms and Regulations

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has issued the Cross Border Trade of Electricity Regulations, 2019 to encourage neighbouring countries to buy more power from India’s spot markets. The development comes after the Ministry of Power recently issued revised guidelines for crossborder trade of electricity, where it had removed certain conditions and allowed electricity trading in the dayahead market. The regulations provide general provisions for connectivity, long term access, medium-term open access and short term open access, payment of charges and payment security mechanism, dispute settlement, and resolution mechanism among others.

Central Sector

The Ministry of Power has issued a notice/memorandum regarding measures to promote the hydropower sector in line with the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ (CCEA) decision dated March 7, 2019. Accordingly, large hydro power projects over 25 MW have been declared as renewable energy source, hydro power obligation (HPO) has been notified as a special entity within non-solar power obligation, and tariff rationalisation measures to reduce the cost of hydro power have been approved. The HPO will cover all large hydro projects commissioned after the issue of this notice as well as the untied capacity of the commissioned projects. In addition, budgetary support to support the cost of enabling infrastructure such as roads and bridges has also been fixed at Rs 15 million per MW for projects up to 200 MW and Rs 10 million per MW for projects above 200 MW. In a separate development, the Ministry of Power has also issued the guidelines for long term procurement of electricity from thermal power stations set up on DBFOO basis and sourcing fuel as provided under model bidding documents including allocation of coal under B (I), B(III) and B(IV) of the SHAKTI policy.

NTPC Limited and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid) are mulling to form National Electricity Distribution Company (NCDC) - pan-India power distribution firm in an equal (50:50) joint venture (JV). The proposed JV would focus on aggregating electricity demand in the country and cater to it as well as take over operations of financially weak distribution utilities. The NCDC is expected to procure electricity at competitive rates and help address the issue of stressed assets in power generation. NCDC is likely to be set up along the lines of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), which is a JV of four PSUs under the administrative control of the power ministry.

NTPC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with East Central Railways for transportation of fly ash under the Indian Railways’ Special Freight Train Operator (SFTO) scheme. With this, NTPC has become the first entity in the country to sign an SFTO agreement with the Indian Railways. The fly ash will be transported by bogey tank for alumina powder (BTAP) rakes, which are leak proof wagons with special air fluidising system. As part of the agreement, NTPC has procured three BTAP rakes and each rake will have a capacity of 3,060 tonnes of ash. The first of the three rakes are expected to arrive by October 2019. The agreement will ease the sourcing of raw materials for downstream industries in the region.

NTPC has invited bids to set up charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) including buses and fourwheelers, on a turnkey basis. The scope of work includes the supply, packing, and forwarding, transportation, storage, installation and commissioning of the EV charging stations. The successful bidder will also have to provide maintenance services for ten years. The last date for the submission of bids is April 23, 2019. The techno-commercial bids will open on April 24, 2019.

The United States and India have agreed to strengthen security and civil nuclear cooperation, including building six nuclear reactors in India. The US-based Westinghouse Electric Corporation has been negotiating to build reactors in India for years and the price negotiations had resumed late last year after the company re-emerged from bankruptcy. The company will supply AP-1000 series of reactors. The agreement to set up the reactors, announced in 2016, followed on from a US-India civil nuclear agreement signed in 2008.

State Sector

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has issued an order stating that if a bidder acquires assets at a discount then it must pass on the benefit to customers by reducing power tariffs. The order has been issued with regard to the ongoing sale of Prayagraj Power to Renascent Power Ventures. UPERC has suggested that Renascent Power would receive the plant without any associated debt and interest costs, and hence, it can reduce the power tariff by 40 paise once the transaction is completed. It has also directed State Bank of India (SBI) to submit its offer of reduction in fixed charges and also the computation on the basis of which such reduction is offered, within one week.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has approved a power sale agreement (PSA) between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) for procuring power from 300 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. The procurement is towards meeting TPDDL’s renewable purchase obligation. However, DERC has not determined the tariff for procuring solar power from SECI-implemented project and directed TPDDL must approach the CERC instead.

The Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) has amended its guidelines under the Haryana Solar Power Policy 2016 for megawatt scale ground-mounted and rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) projects meant for captive consumption or third party sale. As per the amendment, there will be no waiver of wheeling and transmission charges, cross-subsidy surcharges and additional surcharges for solar PV projects set up for the third-party sale of power. However, wheeling and transmission charges will not be levied for 10 years from the date of commissioning for captive projects which have taken land on lease for 30 years or invested at least Rs 10 million.

Private Sector

BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) has commissioned four solar microgrids as part of a pilot project. The microgrids will combine rooftop solar with lithium-ion-based battery energy storage systems. At present, four such microgrids have been set up at BYPL offices in east Delhi. At the four locations, the company has installed rooftop solar plants varying between 5 kW and 7 kW and energy battery storage between 7 kWh and 10 kWh. The premises used only 8 per cent grid power and balance 92 per cent was generated and met through the solar plant coupled with the energy battery storage. The solar PV microgrids were set up in partnership with Panasonic.

TPDDL has collaborated with Enedis, Schneider Electric, Odit-e, and VaasaETT to implement a smart grid demonstrator project. The project will implement three use cases on dedicated sections of TPDDL’s distribution network which include maximising local consumption of renewable energy sources, boosting the consumption of local energy with an adapted demand side management, and improving the resilience of the local energy system through islanding capability of the microgrid in case of an outage occurring within the area. The project is planned to start in May 2019 and is expected to complete by October 2022. The overall project budget is €10.7 million with a grant from the European Commission of €7.9 million.

Projects and Ventures

Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited (KPTL) has won new orders worth Rs 12.88 billion. Its transmission and distribution business has won orders worth Rs 7.71 billion primarily in international markets and the oil and gas business won two projects totaling Rs 5.17 billion.

Debt and Equity

NHPC Limited is planning to bid for Jal Power Corporation’s 120 MW Rangit Hydro Project located in Sikkim. At present, the project is undergoing insolvency proceedings in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Last week, the CCEA approved NHPC’s acquisition of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power’s 500 MW hydroelectric project (HEP) for Rs 9.07 billion.

Greenko Group has signed an agreement with Siemens Financial Services for 46 per cent equity in its 200 MW Poovani wind power project in Tamil Nadu. This is the first investment by Siemens in a wind farm in Asia. Earlier, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy supplied and commissioned the wind turbines for the project.

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