30th Jan 2012, Ahmedabad
The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has dismissed petitions by solar power developers for an extension of a 28 January deadline for completing their projects in the state without losing preferential payment rates.
Some of the solar developers who had approached the regulator seeking an extension are Tata Power Co. Ltd, GMR Gujarat Solar Power Pvt. Ltd, Alex Astral Power Pvt. Ltd and Inspira Infrastructure Ltd.
“The petitioners have not succeeded in making out a case for invoking the inherent power of the commission to extend the control period determined by the commission in its order dated 29 January 2010… Several projects have been or are likely to be commissioned during the control period itself,” the GERC order said.
The Gujarat government had, under its solar policy, set a tariff for solar photovoltaic projects at Rs. 15 per unit, or kilowatt hour (for the first 12 years), supplied by projects commissioned before 28 January 2012. It plans to lower this rate by at least 30% after this date.
The developers petitioned to the commission stating that they were facing a difficulty in land acquisition, as well as fiscal constraints due to delays by financial institutions and, hence, wanted an extension of the deadline.
The power purchase agreement (PPA) signed between Gujarat state power utility and the solar power developers envisages commissioning of the projects by 31 December 2011, whereas the control period for the current tariff is up to January-end 2012.