The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has exempted renewable energy qualified coordinating agencies (QCAs) for meter reading, data collection, and communication from paying scheduling and forecasting charges. However, the initial corpus that QCAs must deposit remains unchanged.
According to the MERC, this commercial arrangement will come into effect from July 1, 2019.
The commission has issued the new order exempting scheduling and forecasting charges after the Maharashtra State Load Dispatch Centre (MSLDC) submitted the minutes of the meeting with stakeholders where the project developers had raised questions on the high QCA charges.
While examining the submission made by MSLDC, the commission observed that renewable power being infirm, there would be a number of revisions in the schedule for a pooling substation to minimize the deviation between the scheduled generation and the actual generation.
Therefore, the MERC has now revised the charges.
Initially, the QCAs had been asked to deposit ₹25,000 (~$357.6)/MW as a corpus for solar and ₹50,000 (~$715.6)/MW for wind projects. Mercom had reported back then how Maharashtra was behind when it came to meeting renewable purchase obligation (RPO), and these new added costs could inhibit large-scale project development.
At that time, QCAs were asked to pay ₹2,250 (~$32)/day as scheduling charges and the same amount as the revision in schedules. Even now, the QCA will be required to deposit ₹25,000 (~$357.6)/MW as a corpus for solar and ₹50,000 (~$715.6)/MW for wind projects, but there will be no scheduling and revision in the schedule charges.
Initially, stakeholders had expressed their concern about not being a part of the consultative process when the order was being formulated. Now, the MSLDC and MERC appear to have settled the issue by accommodating certain changes proposed by the renewable energy project developers.