NHPC LIMITED Vs. POWER DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
LAWS(ET)-2015-10-16
CENTRAL ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION
Decided on October 13,2015

Nhpc Limited Appellant
VERSUS
Power Development Department Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) THIS petition has been filed by the petitioner, NHPC for approval of generation tariff of Nimoo Bazgo Hydroelectric project, (3 x 15 MW) ("hereinafter the generating station") for the period from the anticipated date of commercial operation (COD) of the generating station (1.4.2013) to 31.3.2014 based on the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms & Conditions of Tariff) Regulations, 2009 ("the 2009 Tariff Regulations") and for relaxation of operational and/or technical norms of operation under Clause -4 of Part -7 (Misc) of the Indian Electricity Grid Code.
(2.) THE generating station situated in the State of J & K has been designed as a purely run of the river scheme with diurnal pondage to provide peaking for 4 hours (except during winter season) and comprises of three units with a capacity of 15 MW each. The project involves construction of 57 m high concrete gravity dam and surface PH at dam toe. The project would generate 239 million units in a 90% dependable year. Power Development Department, Govt, of Jammu Kashmir is the sole beneficiary of the project. The petitioner has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Government of J & K on 26.10.2005 for supply of entire power from the project. Subsequently, Ministry of Power, Govt, of India vide its letter dated 8.4.2011 had made the following allocations from this project to the State of J & K as under: The unallocated share of 15% power is also allocated to the State of J & K during winter season. The State Government of J & K will provide matching 1% power from its share of 12% free power, to the corpus of the Local Area Development Fund. Further, as per allocation letter 100 units of electricity per month is to be provided by the petitioner to each family affected by the project for a period of 10 years from the date of commissioning of the project.
(3.) THE petitioner by affidavit dated 21.2.2013 has submitted that Unit Nos. II and III of the generating station has been commissioned on 20.1.2013 and 12.10.2012 respectively and the said units were ready for testing at full load. The petitioner has also submitted that the units are being operated on partial load made available by the respondent presently, and Unit -I is being commissioned shortly. The petitioner has further submitted that the project has not been connected to the grid and therefore commercial operation of the units is possible only when full load will be provided by the respondent. The petitioner has added that the sub -stations are being constructed under RGGVY scheme at Leh which are yet to be commissioned for requisite test load. Accordingly, the petitioner has submitted that the declaration of Commercial Operation (COD) of the units of the generating station cannot be achieved at this stage and the total capital cost of the project shall be worked out after COD. Referring to the Commission's order dated 31.12.2012 in I.A. No. 15/2012 (in Petition No. 23/GT/2011) pertaining to tariff of Chutak HEP, the petitioner prayed that the generating station may be allowed to be declared under commercial operation under available load by relaxing the Regulation 3(12) of CERC (Terms & Conditions of Tariff) Regulations, 2009. Thereafter, the petitioner vide letter dated 28.6.2013 informed that Unit No. I has been commissioned on 17.6.2013 and that scheduling of infirm power of the generating station has commenced from 15.12.2012, 20.1.2013 and 17.6.2013 for Unit Nos. III, II and I respectively. In consideration of the submissions, the Commission by order dated 7.10.2013 has relaxed the provisions of Regulation 3 (12) of the 2009 Tariff Regulations and allowed the said prayer of the petitioner as under: "18. In view of the submissions made by the petitioner as above and considering the fact that each hydro generating unit having been tested to the extent of about 80% of installed capacity during the periods ranging to 2 to 8 months (approx), the Commission is of the considered view that the provisions of the Regulation 3(12) of 2009 Tariff Regulations should be relaxed in the exercise of the power under Regulation 44 of the 2009 Tariff Regulations. We order accordingly. In accordance with this, the petitioner is allowed to declare commercial operation at the maximum load made available by the Respondent, after following the due process of testing of each machine for its commercial operation, by giving notice to the respondent.";


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