Chennai: In a significant move for the energy sector, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has stated that State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) cannot curtail renewable power at their convenience, adding that backing down of the “Must Run Status” power shall be resorted to only after exhausting all other possible means of achieving and ensuring grid stability and reliable power supply.
TNERC outlined these findings after noting the submissions of the petitioner and respondents in a petition filed regarding stopping of issuance of backing down or curtailment instructions to solar projects as the backing down is causing huge losses to the solar developers almost on daily basis.
“The backing down data furnished by the petitioners has not been disputed by the respondents. However, they were not able to explain the reason prevailing at each time of backing down beyond the general statements. It gives rise to a suspicion that the backing down instructions were not solely for the purpose of ensuring grid safety,” the regulatory commission observed.
The commission also stated that it is necessary to direct the SLDC to ensure evacuation of the solar power generations connected to the state grid to the fullest possible extent, truly recognising the Must Run Status assigned to it in full spirit.
“In doing so, in view of the problems enumerated supra, the SLDC may resort to backing down in rare occasions in order to ensure the grid safety as stipulated in the Grid Code and to ensure reliable 24 x 7 power supply to the State. It is necessary to log each event of backing down whenever such instructions are issued with the reason(s) which lead(s) to that unavoidable decision. A quarterly return on the curtailments with the reasons shall be sent to the Commission. Any whimsical backing down instructions would attract penal action under section 142 of the Electricity Act on the officials concerned”, read the order issued by the TNERC.