Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) has approved Bihar State Power Holding Company’s (BSPHCL) petition to carry forward the shortfall of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for FY 20 into FY 21. After considering the circumstances, the regulatory commission has passed the order.
RPO is categorized as Solar Purchase Obligation and Non-Solar Purchase Obligation. While the Bihar DISCOMS have met their Non-Solar Purchase Obligation, there is a real struggle to meet the Solar Purchase Obligation. Due to the dearth of renewable energy resources, the state is highly dependent on the central government’s schemes to meet its RPO. Although the state DISCOMS have tied up with the central government for various solar and wind projects, the supply from these projects will only start during FY 21. Recently, BERC has approved Bihar state DISCOMs plans to purchase solar power from NTPC and SECI projects.
BSPHCL informed the commission that the state had floated tenders for renewable energy thrice but they were due to single or zero participation from solar developers. On behalf of the two DISCOMS, it had also participated in the REC trading sessions between September 2019 and February 2020. During March it could not participate due to the outbreak of COVID. The pandemic had delayed the cash collection of DISCOMS as the billing counters had been closed in compliance with the nation wide lockdown and social distancing norms.
In the REC trading sessions, though BSPHCL was successful in purchasing RECs but the cleared bid volume was always lesser than the quoted volume- specifically for solar REC tradings. Also there were more buyers than sellers resulting in higher REC prices. Together, these factors led to non-fulfillment of solar purchase obligation.
The commission noted that the Bihar DISCOMS did have advance plans to fulfill their RPOs and meet the shortfall by purchasing the RECs. The circumstances, however,, caused the delays. BERC has, therefore, accepted the petitioner’s prayer to carry forward the shortfall of RPO.