July 24, 2021

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Andhra Pradesh HC stays PPA signing between state, RE developers

Andhra Pradesh high court on Tuesday stayed signing of power purchase agreements (PPA) between the state’s renewable energy arm and developers till further orders.

Andhra Pradesh Energy Green Corp Ltd (APEGCL) filed an appeal against judgment passed by a single-judge bench on June 17 that quashed the state government’s 6,400 Mw tender saying it failed to meet the Centre’s guidelines for such bids.

Adani Green Energy and NTPC had won five mega solar power projects of 600 Mw each through this tender at a tariff of Rs 2.47 per unit and Rs 2.48 per unit respectively.

won 300 Mw at Rs 2.47 per unit.

The single judge bench had pointed out deviations in the bidding documents — Request for Selection (RfS) and the PPA from the provisions of Electricity Act and the Competitive Bidding Guidelines (CBG) issued by the Ministry of Power under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

“After the hearing the arguments advanced by the parties, the Chief Justice on Tuesday suspended the operation of the judgment dated 17.06.2021, and directed the power generating companies to not enter into any PPA with APGECL till further orders,” sources said.

APEGCL is a company acting as a nodal agency on behalf of Andhra Pradesh government to supply 10,000 Mw solar power to the farmers.

On November 31, 2020, APGECL had initiated the tender process for setting up 10 solar power units to produce 6,400 Mw exclusively for agricultural usage.

The APGECL stated in its PPA that any dispute regarding the project would be settled by the state government, as against the legal requirement of moving the state or central electricity regulator. Tata Power Energy Limited objected to this provision and challenged it in the high court. However, the APGECL had continued with the tendering process despite the legal dispute.

Tata Power argued that Electricity Act, 2003 is a complete code and issues such as competitive bidding must be in terms of the Act and the Regulator has an intrinsic role to play in such transactions. However, AP had formulated a method outside the Act and also outside the scope and powers of Regulator, which is not permissible.

Tata Power Renewable Energy was represented by Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior advocate Desai Prakash Reddy and Shri Venkatesh, Managing Partner, SKV Law Offices.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Vivek Reddy appeared for Adani Power while the Andhra Pradesh discoms were represented by senior advocate P Sri Raghu Ram.

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