(1.) M/s Ajanta Private Limited (APL), Orpat Industrial Estate, Rajkot Highway, Morbi, Gujarat has filed a Petition on 25 September, 2014 under Regulation 44.4 of the MERC
(Distribution Open Access (DOA)) Regulations, 2014 seeking deferral of
implementation of the Regulations and related reliefs. M/s Westin Mumbai Garden City
(WMGC) (a Unit of Oberoi Realty Ltd.), International Business Park, Goregaon,
Mumbai has also filed a similar Petition on 7 October, 2014.
(2.) The Petitioners have made the following prayers:
2.1. APL's prayers in Case No. 170 of 2014:
"a) To suitably amend the implementation of the Distribution Open Access Regulations 2014 for all the open access transactions effective from 01st April 2015.
b) To pass suitable orders to respondent to issue open access permission and the credit reports for the generation of power from 1st July 2014.
c) To pass suitable orders for giving the credits in the energy bills of the consumer Ms. Westin Garden City Mumbai - Oberoi Realty Ltd.,
d) To pass any suitable orders to give relief to us as we are financially affected party."
2.2. WMGC's prayers in Case No. 175 of 2014 are identical to those of APL above, with the addition below:
"d) To clarify that SLDC should not levy the scheduling charges for renewable energy open access transactions for all intra state open access."
(3.) The facts of the case as stated in the Petitions are as follows:
1) APL is a wind power generator with a 4.9 MW wind farm in Satara District, connected to the distribution network of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. (MSEDCL). WMGC is a consumer of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. (RInfra), a Distribution Licensee in Mumbai, and has entered into an agreement with APL for buying its wind power from July, 2014 to March, 2015.
2) APL and WMGC applied to RInfra for Short Term Open Access (OA) permission from 1 July, 2014 to 31 March, 2015 vide letter dated 1 July, 2014 under the DOA Regulations, 2005.
3) The Commission has notified the new DOA Regulations, 2014 on 25 June, 2014, which came to the knowledge of APL and WMGC on 8 July, 2014 from the Commission's website.
4) The DOA Regulations, 2014 stipulate that every Distribution Licensee has to put, with the Commission's prior approval and within 60 days, on its website the information requirements, procedures, application formats and fees in downloadable formats. This has not been done till filing of this Petition.
5) In its Order dated 20 August, 2014 in Case No. 106 of 2014, the Commission had restored the status quo ante for applications received prior to the notification of the DOA Regulations, 2014 as follows:
"19. The new Regulations require MSEDCL to submit and obtain the approval of the Commission to its proposed procedure for the implementation of these Regulations within two months of their notification. That has not yet been done. In the meantime, the Commission directs MSEDCL to process the applications for grant of Open Access filed prior to the notification of the MERC (Distribution Open Access Regulations), 2014 in accordance with its Commercial Circular No. 194 dated 9 ApRInfra, 2013 and the Commission's Orders dated 24 November, 2003 and 3 January, 2013."
6) Since the Petitioner's OA application falls in the cusp period, it is a unique case and continues to be in a state of uncertainty, affecting APL's revenues even through generated energy is being fed into the grid.
7) As wind power is Renewable Energy (RE) which falls under the exempted category under R. 3.1 and 22.3 of the DOA, Regulations, 2014, and is also identified in the MERC (Terms and conditions for determination of RE Tariff) Regulations, 2010 as non firm power, APL's plant is to be treated as a 100% 'Must Run" plant.
8) Since Intra State OA is sought for wheeling of RE, which is not a schedulable power, the Maharashtra State Load Despatch Centre (MSLDC) should not levy scheduling charge of Rs. 3,000 per day as per the Commission's Order dated 7 March 2014 in Case No.178 of 2013. Payment of a total amount of Rs 10.95 Lakh/ annum is not tenable.
9) Under Regulation 43 of the DOA Regulations, 2014, the Commission is empowered to make provisions for removing difficulties in giving effect to the Regulations. Regulation 44.4 empowers the Commission to exempt any generator, consumer or Licensee from any of the conditions for availing OA. Invocation of these powers is sought for:
a) Deferring implementation of the new Regulations to 1 April, 2015 for all RE OA transactions;
b) Extending the status quo ante granted in the Order in Case No. 106 of 2014 till the Licensees/MSLDC finalise their Commission -approved procedures;
c) Directing MSEDCL and Rinfra to issue OA permission from the date of the Petitioners' application (1 July, 2014), and MSLDC to give credits for the generated Units;
d) Clarifying that MSLDC should not levy scheduling charges for RE OA transactions for Intra State OA transactions. ;