tata power: SC rejects Tata Power’s appeal against Rs 7,000 cr transmission contract awarded to Adani | Rare Techy
Tata Power has questioned the decision of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to award such a large infrastructure project without following the tariff-based competitive bidding (TBCB) process and by “excluding other developers”.
The project is for a 1,000-MW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) connection between the 400 KV Kudus and 220 KV Aarey EHV stations. A bench, led by the chief judge DY Chandrachud, upheld the appeal tribunal’s order on February 18 which ruled that MERC’s decision to choose RTM (regulate the tariff mode) line in Section 62 of the Electricity Act 2003 for awarding the contract cannot be called as “wrong”. , misguided or inappropriate”.
Regarding whether large infrastructure projects can be awarded on the basis of nomination under Section 62 by way of competitive bidding provided for in Section 63, the court stated that the Act provides sufficient flexibility to the states to manage the intra-state transmission system, where the state commission . has the power to determine and regulate tariffs. In addition, the 2003 Act or the policy framework, especially the National Tariff Policy 2016 read with the Maharashtra government resolution (GR) January 4, 2019, does not bind MERC to provide HVDC projects only through the TBCB route and decision. in accordance with the directives of the empowered committee, the apex court said.
“MERC and Aptel have come to a joint finding that the 1000MW HVDC Aarey-Kudus project is an ‘existing project’ for the purposes of the application of the GR 2019 GoM,” the decision said. “This court decided that a statutory appeal cannot interfere with the joint findings on the question of fact. However, even in an independent assessment of the facts, the HVDC project is an existing project.” Although the HVDC project is considered a ‘new project’, MERC’s decision cannot be challenged as it is an independent body with statutory powers to determine and regulate tariffs, the court added.
The bench also asked the state regulatory commission to frame regulations under Section 181 of the Act to determine the tariff within three months. The commission that has framed the tariff regulation is supposed to amend them to include provisions in the criteria for choosing the modality to determine the tariff.
The high court stated that the commission will “produce a balance that will create a model of sustainable electricity regulation in the countries” which must be in line with the objective of the Electricity Law, which is to increase the investment of private stakeholders in order to create a sustainable and effective rate determination system that is economical costs so that such benefits reach the final consumer.