Speaking to FE, an official of UPPCL said the decision was taken in case of those companies which had failed to complete their projects on time. According to the agreements signed in 2015, the developers had to complete the projects by January 2017.
After asking solar power plants last week to renegotiate power prices, Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) on Monday cancelled the PPAs with six of them for delay in setting up their projects. The six plants, with a combined capacity of 80 MW, belong to Adani Green Energy, Sahastradhara Energy, Pinnacle Air, Awadh Rubber Prop Madras Elastomers, Technical Associates and Sudhakara Infratech. Speaking to FE, an official of UPPCL said the decision was taken in case of those companies which had failed to complete their projects on time. According to the agreements signed in 2015, the developers had to complete the projects by January 2017. The deadlines were extended twice, first till March 2017 and then till September 2017. Last week, UPPCL had called all 15 solar developers, who had signed the contracts for the 215 MW solar auction for tariffs ranging between Rs 7.02 per KWH and Rs 8.60 per KWH in December 2015 and asked them to voluntarily agree to lower tariffs and match them to the lowest bid of Rs 7.02 per KWH. While some of the developers, who had already installed their projects, outrightly refused to toe the line, others who had not completed their projects yet, agreed to scale down the tariffs. It is these developers who have been issued cancellation notices by UPPCL.
In a statement, UPPCL said the state government had entered into an agreement with 15 companies in 2015 under the 2013 solar power policy. Out of these 15, nine had installed solar power plants with a total capacity of 135 MW, while six companies, with an aggregate capacity of 80 MW, did not honour the agreement. Citing the fact that the cost of solar power had fallen to Rs 2.44 per unit because of reduction in prices of solar panels, UPPCL said that under such circumstances, the companies may not be allowed to set up power plants as per the previous arrangement. It may be mentioned that the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has written to all states recently, asking them to ensure that solar developers ‘do not get undue benefits’ from the development by insisting that solar projects meet the deadlines initially set for them without any extensions.
However, developers in UP are pretty sore about the issue and are seeking legal alternatives for the same. “Our projects are more or less ready, but transmission lines are still to be drawn. We have to match our own project timeline with that of transmission timeline, lest the modules get degraded. It is unfair to pin all the blame on us and cancel the projects due to that. Other agencies should also be accountable for maintaining their timelines,” said an official of a company whose project has been cancelled.