i) Appeal filed by the association of wind energy project developers against the impugned order of the State Commission allowing relaxation in Renewable Purchase obligation of the distribution licensees is maintainable.
ii) Since the present case is the first suo motu review of compliance of the RPO obligations after the Appeal no. 24 of 2013 & IA no. 39 of 2013 notification of the RPO Regulations and in view of the fact that there was no specific regulation for public notice for such reviews, we do not want to hold that the absence of public notice in the suo motu proceeding was illegal. However, we feel that in the proceedings before the State Commission either suo motu or on a petition by a party, regarding review of RPOs in which consequential directions for relaxation or carry forward of RPO or creation of regulatory fund are given, public notice inviting suggestions and objections of the stakeholders is necessary. We have given some directions for future under paragraphs 29 and 30.
iii) We do not find any infirmity in the State Commission revising the RPO for FY 2010-11 by exercising its power under Regulation 4.2 of the RPO Regulations, 2010, in view of the reasons beyond the control of the distribution licensees.
(iv) We do not see any infirmity in the distribution licensee setting priority to procure renewable energy by entering into PPAs with the renewable energy generators to meet their RPO targets when the State is endowed with adequate renewable energy sources.
However, if the distribution licensees are not able to make arrangements to procure adequate renewable energy to meet the RPO targets, then they have to resort to alternate mechanism of REC specified in the Regulations to meet the shortfall in RPO. The aspect of availability of REC during FY 2011-12 has not been dealt with by the State Commission properly. On one hand, it decided that the GUVNL and its subsidiary distribution licensees did not make efforts to purchase REC and on the other hand it held that adequate REC were not available. No reason was given to come to conclusion that adequate REC were not available.
v) FY 2011-12 and 2012-13 are since over and the following year 2013-14 is also over. At this stage we cannot turn the clock back and carry forward of REC cannot be reversed. Creating of Regulatory fund for non-adherence to REC at this belated stage will also not serve any purpose. The Regulatory fund has also to be used partly for purchase of REC and partly for development of transmission infrastructure for evacuation of power for the renewable energy generators. By carry forward of the shortfall during 2011-12 to 2012-13 the objective of meeting the RPO obligation will be met. Therefore, we do not want to interfere with the directions of the State Commission regarding carry forward of shortfall in RPO during FY 2011-12. We have, however, given some guidelines to the State Commission for future under paragraph 55(A) to (D).
vi) We do not find any infirmity in the State Commission exercising its powers under Regulation 4.2 for adjustment of excess solar energy procured against non-solar RPO in the circumstances of the present case. 64. In view of above, the Appeal is partly allowed to the extent as indicated above. We have also given some directions/guidelines to the State Commission to be followed in future. No order as to cost. 65.
Pronounced in the open court on this 25th day of April, 2014.
(Rakesh Nath) Technical Member
(Justice M. Karpaga Vinayagam) Chairperson