• CERC for change in power transmission bid rules

    To expedite development of the power transmission network and avoid delay, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has emphasised to the Power ministry the need to give out large projects, instead of breaking these into parcels.

    This comes in the wake of increasing numbers of petitions, arguing over the dates of commissioning, incentives and the delays.

    In a letter dated October 14, to the ministry, the commisison has highlighted these issues. As there is no benchmark for implementation of a project, the network operator also misses on the chance to earn incentives for early commissioning, the letter is being reviewed by Business Standard.

    Suggesting a way forward, CERC said large projects, not components of large projects, should be awarded. “In the case of a new transmission network, splitting into components and award through tariff (rate)-based competitive bidding (TBCB) complicates the execution. Therefore it is advisable to identify the entire network for developmemnt through TBCB, instead of comparatively smaller elements, commissioning of which depends upon commissioning of all upstream/downstream elements,” said the letter.

    The commission has also asked the government to include an implementation agreement in the bidding guidelines, to improve coordination between developer and bid process manager.

    The government had issued an order in July 2015 that transmission projects won under TBCB and those awarded to Power Grid Corporation of India for system strengthening would be eligible for transmission charge from the date of commercial operations, even if ahead of schedule. The first to so come early was, the transmission project of Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP), owned and managed by Sterlite Grid, commissioned in January 2016.

    CERC has asked for incorporating the incentive in the bidding documents and implementation agreement. And, that all the disputes should be settled through the implementation agreement.

    Power ministry officials said the advice was being examined and some of the suggestions had already been incorporated in the new bidding documents. Butch Goring Authentic Jersey

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