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Solar Investors support Uttarakhand government's move against UPCL
National solar power and renewable energy developers and EPC companies have welcomed the move made by the Government of Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) against the violators of state RPOs, starting with Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL).

UERC initialized the process with an order dated 11 September 2013 directing UPCL to procure Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for unmet RPO of 59.12 million units (MUs) of non-solar sources for FY 2011-12 within 2 months.

In recent court proceedings, a penalty of Rs. 20,000 has been imposed upon UPCL for its non-compliance with the RE Regulations, 2010 & RPO Regulations 2010. The aforesaid penalty is to be deposited within 30 days of this order. Non-compliance will attract an additional penalty of Rs. 2,000/- per day thereafter. The financial implication of the solar obligation is estimated to be around Rs 8.87 crore, which is to be met by UPCL out of the surplus of Rs 13.94 crore allowed to it over and above its ARR for FY 2013-14 in the Tariff Order dated May 06, 2013.

The Commission observed that UPCL has been time and again making repeated non-compliance of the directions issued to it inspite of the fact that numerous opportunities has been provided to it to mend its affairs. The reasons cited by UPCL were poor financial position of the company, which had already been held untenable by the Commission.

Supporting the initiative, Rahul Gupta, Director, Rays Power Experts, says, “We do welcome the step but we also feel that the matter of unmet RPO obligations by states cannot be resolved with a penalty of Rs. 20,000. It demands far more concerted efforts from all stakeholders. We have also filed petition against other states urging their regulatory bodies to take action against non-compliance of RPO, which in turn would alleviate the pressing issue threatening the renewable energy sector.”

Many states in India are not complying on schemes launched by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in the area of promoting renewable energy. Investments of Rs 2500 crores have already been made towards this goal.

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