Wind energy companies move Madras High Court against auction of Tamil Nadu projects

NEW DELHI: Wind energy companies have moved the Madras High Court against the Tamil Nadu electricity distribution company’s move to auction wind energy projects with a new base price, and the sector regulator’s decision to allow the auction. Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA), an industry body of wind energy developers, has moved the high court, challenging a Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) order to allow Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Co (TANGEDCO) hold a wind auction for 500 MW with the base price set at Rs 3.46 per unit — a record low tariff found in the first and only wind auction in the country held in February.

IWEA in its petition called TNERC’s order issued on June 2 “arbitrary, illegal, unjust and deserving to be quashed”. It argued that since an earlier tariff order of the regulator was valid till April 1, 2018, any fresh tariff related order could only be passed after this period had expired. TNERC had passed a comprehensive tariff order on wind energy, applicable for two years starting April 1, 2016, setting the wind power tariff at Rs 4.16 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Wind energy tariffs so far had been set by state regulators and mostly varied between Rs 4 and Rs 6 per kWh.

Union renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal, however, has been calling for auctioning of renewable energy projects. So, the first wind auction was held in February by Solar Energy Corporation of India, a firm under his ministry. It saw wind energy tariffs fall sharply to Rs 3.46 per unit.

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