The Supreme Court has sought response from various renewable energy generators in Maharashtra as to why open access and banking facilities for excess energy should be given to them.
A Bench led by Justices Indira Banerjee and MR Shah, while issuing notice to four wind generators in Maharashtra — Arvind Cotsyn, Roha Dyechem, Jsons Foundry and Western Precicast – also stayed operations of the Appellate Tribunal judgment that asked Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to decide the matter expeditiously within 3 months in the light of the observations made by it.
Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) had moved the Supreme Court against the Appellate Tribunal’ 27 April judgment that asked it to grant open access facility to wind generators and also compensate them for the banked energy till the full quantum of open access is granted.
The Tribunal had set aside the MERC’s 9 September, 2019, order that denied open access facility to the wind developers on the grounds that there was no limitation on banking of excess energy generated instantaneously by the generators. The SC has shifted the matter for further hearing on July 28.
The only test to be applied by the distribution licensee is to verify the feasibility of infrastructure and capacity of the distribution system so that the resultant power flow can be accommodated in the existing distribution system, the tribunal had stated.
Allowing unlimited banking of the excess capacity would lead to adverse effects on the grid, MSEDCL told the Supreme Court and said the Appellate Tribunal had failed to consider that the regulations were made to protect the interest of all its stakeholders, including distribution licensee, common consumers, generators, etc.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra distribution licensee, said banking as a concept, considering the unique and infirm nature of Wind and Solar Energy, has been provided in the Wind Tariff Order, which says more than 10% of total energy generation from the project ought not to be banked with the utility at any point of time.