Tamil Nadu Solar faces setback – TNERC declines to approve purchase of 708 MW of power

“The bidding process conducted by TANGDCO for the purchase of 708 MW of solar power from 52 developers has no legal sanctity”. This is the gist of a landmark order passed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission(TNERC) on 15 September 2014, according to “The Hindu”.
The report by The Hindu says that TNERC ruled that “The petitions by Tangedco(to approve its proposal to purchase 708 MW of solar power from 52 generators within the state for 20 years) suffer from the prerequisite of transparent bidding process in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central government” under Section 63 of Electricity Act(EA), 2003. The article notes that TANGEDCO committed a blunder by seeking approval under the Section 63 of EA, 2003, whereas Punjab got approval for its bidding process by filing its petitions under Sections 86(1)(b) and 86(1)(e). (The Electricity Act of 2003 can be accessed here).
Tangedco now has two options.
a. Appeal before Appellete Tribunal for Electricity within 45 days of the order or
b. Go for a fresh bidding process.
Either way, the lack of clarity regarding the policy has ended, and hopefully, this will be the end to the “curious case of Tamil Nadu Solar“, and the RESET button can be pressed.
The articles from “The Hindu” are available here and here.


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4 thoughts on “Tamil Nadu Solar faces setback – TNERC declines to approve purchase of 708 MW of power”

  1. After the TNREC order notifying eate of levelised tariff of Rs 7.01 last week, it would have been even more difficult to continue with this tender which allowed 5% escalation and both could not have proceeded simultaneously.we have to wait for TNEB implementation order against tge TNERC order and conditions of PPA. Let us as usual, keep our fingers crossed. ..

  2. Yes, the “reset” button pressing is inevitable now, in order to implement the on-ground capacity addition of Solar in Tamil Nadu.
    If this Rs 7.01 per unit tariff really comes to the kitty of developers, who are willing to set-up plants in TN, then also it is a good option to achieve the ultimate objective of promoting solar. Also, for this implementation, a working document is getting prepared and will be released very soon.

  3. I think all the states are taking unanimous and with independent views, rather than a collective and macro approach to the development of renewable energy. The urgency and criticality is same in each state, and as a nation severely short on power generation affecting overall growth and development. The above matter could easily have become a penalty case for TANGEDCO, and irresponsible officers disciplined (which is not happening my opinion), except the developer/bidder time/efforts delayed/now probably wasted. There is a concept in law of promissory estoppel, i.e. any continuing authority will respect the decisions earlier issued and maintain the harmony and principles of an act.
    It is unfortunate that various authorities across states take unanimous decisions putting the burden onto citizens instead on the corrupt.

  4. The TN Solar Policy 2012 targets to have 3000 MW solar capacity in the state by 2015, whereas the state is only having a total solar capacity 109 MW. there is a big question on how the TN is going to meet its targets? also for sure they will be meeting there target but by bringing this tariff for solar PV, they tried to fuel up the lacking sector.

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