TN Electricity Regulatory Commission decides to continue existing norms for banking wind energy

The Commission said on account of the unprecedented situation due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has decided not to disturb the current position on the banking facility

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has decided to allow the continuation of existing norms on banking facilities for wind energy projects, much to the relief of the industry.

In its recent wind tariff order, which came into effect from October 7 and is valid till March 31, 2022, TNERC said on account of the unprecedented situation due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, where several restrictions were in place on the movement of the public and on opening of offices etc., and the gradual slowdown in economic activity, it has decided not to disturb the current position on the banking facility.

The banking facility allows captive wind power generators to sell surplus power to distribution companies. Through the facility, wind power producers feed the electricity generated by their wind mills into the State grid, and draw the power for captive use within the banking period.

The banking facility has remained a contentious issue for a long time, with state utility, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) urging its withdrawal, and wind energy developers wanting it to be continued.

TNERC said the banking period would continue for 12 months from April 1 to March 31 of the succeeding year for projects commissioned on or before March 31, 2018. The applicable banking charges shall be 14% in kind. For projects commissioned on or after April 1, 2018, the facility of banking of energy shall be for a period of one month, it added.

TNERC has decided to retain levy of transmission, wheeling and scheduling and system operation charges at 50% of the applicable charges for conventional power, notified from time to time, for projects commissioned under the normal category. It has also decided to retain levy of cross-subsidy surcharge at 60% of that applicable to conventional power.

TNERC also said procurement of wind power by Tangedco to meet its renewable purchase obligations, shall be through competitive bidding by following all prescribed procedures.

Noting that the tariff regime has shifted to competitive bidding from a feed-in-tariff regime, TNERC did not suggest any benchmark tariff.

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