The Central Transmission Utility of India Limited (CTUIL) has taken steps to address issues related to connection applications by Renewable Energy Park Developers (RPPDs) under the Electricity Act, 2003. CTUIL filed a petition seeking issuance of orders or instructions for the application of the General Network Access (GNA) provisions in relation to connection requests from RPPDs.
As per Rule 5.5 of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) General Network Access and Connectivity Rules, 2022, RPPDs have to apply for connection equal to the approved quantity fixed by the Central or State Government. However, some authorized RPPDs initially requested affiliation for less than the authorized quantity and subsequently sought affiliation for the full authorized quantity.
CERC expressed concern over CTUIL’s approach during a hearing on 10 October 2023, stating that changes to existing rules should not be initiated through petitions. The power to make, amend or repeal regulations rests with the Commission under section 178 of the Electricity Act, and changes should only be made when the Commission deems it necessary.
In response, CTUIL requested leave to withdraw the petition while retaining the freedom to present a comprehensive proposal regarding the RPPDs’ eligibility to request affiliation at a lower amount than permitted. The commission authorized CTUIL to withdraw the petition and directed its staff to review any future proposals.
The Indian Wind Power Association and the National Solar Energy Federation of India were also permitted to present their proposals and opinions on the eligibility of RPPDs to request connection in these cases.
This CERC decision underscores the importance of a thorough and considered approach when seeking changes to existing regulations. It emphasizes that a petitioner’s statutory functions must be consistent with the Commission’s mandate, and the process of amending or repealing regulations should be initiated only when there is a demonstrated need.
Resolving regulatory issues in the power sector, such as connection requests by RPPDs, will play a critical role in shaping the future of renewable energy development in India. CERC’s willingness to consider comprehensive proposals signifies a commitment to fostering a regulatory environment that promotes sustainable energy development.
Source: The Central Transmission Utility of India Limited (CTUIL)