AP govt makes key changes to its energy policies

Amaravati, Nov 18 (PTI) The Andhra Pradesh government onMonday made several key changes to its policies on solar, windand hybrid power, primarily withdrawing the facility forenergy banking and drawal that was purportedly causing a hugefinancial drain on the power distribution companies (Discoms).

In an order, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government said ithas observed statutory audit has reported an abnormal spurt inpower purchase cost and deteriorated financial position of theDiscoms.

'Taking this into consideration, and in order tostrengthen the financial position of the power utilities,amendments have been made to the policies, Energy SecretarySrikant Nagulapalli said in the order.

It also said any injection of energy betweensynchronisation and declaration of Commercial Operation Dateshall be treated as inadvertent power and no cost shall bepaid by the Discoms.

The changes to the solar, wind and hybrid (solar +wind) power policies have been made in the backdrop of theYSRC government's process of reviewing all power purchaseagreements entered into by the previous TDP regime withrenewable energy generators.

The policies, brought in by the previous Telugu DesamParty government in January this year, enabled 100 per centbanking of energy all through the year.

According to the January policy, the unutilised bankedenergy shall be considered as deemed purchase by Discoms at 50per cent of the average pooled power purchase cost, asdetermined by the Andhra Pradesh Electrity RegulatoryCommission (APERC) for the applicable year.

Payment for the deemed purchase was, however, capped at10 per cent of the total banked energy during the applicableyear.

Ever since he assumed power in May, Jagan has beenalleging the PPAs signed by the Chandrababu Naidu governmentcaused a loss of Rs 5,000 crore to the state exchequer andleft the power utilities bleeding.

The government started a process for re-negotiating thePPAs with the green energy generators, ignoring the Centreswarning against the move.

Challenging the government decision, over 40 powerproducers approached the state high court which has referredthe matter to the APERC.

In another significant amendment to the policies, theincumbent government altered the tariff stating that it shallnot exceed difference between pooled variable cost andbalancing cost for any variable renewable energy project.

APERC will determine the pooled variable cost andbalancing cost every year, the order added. PTI DBVVS VS