MERC reviews RPO compliance of MSEDCL

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has reviewed the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) compliance targets set by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) for the financial year 2016-17. MERC has noted that MSEDCL fell short of its stand-alone solar RPO target by 689.86 million units (MU) for the period under consideration, bringing the discom’s cumulative shortfall to 2,049.614 MUs.

MSEDCL cited Supreme Court’s halt in trading of solar Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) as the primary reason for not fulfilling its RPO and has requested MERC to allow it to carry forward the shortfall and to meet the total RPO by March 2020.

However, MERC has directed MSEDCL to fully meet its stand-alone and cumulative shortfall of solar RPO targets for 2016-17 by the end of financial year 2018-19 instead of 2019-2020. MSEDCL can fulfil its solar RPO targets either by purchasing solar power or solar RECs. The table below gives the RPO targets set by MERC.

Year RPO targets (%)
Solar Non Solar Total
2016-17 1.00 10.00 11.00
2017-18 2.00 10.50 12.50
2018-19 2.75 11.00 13.75
2019-2020 3.50 11.50 15.00

Over the past few years, MSEDCL has taken steps to increase its renewable energy procurement. It has signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for a total capacity of 1,327 MW and floated tenders of about 300 MW capacity for short-term solar power procurements through competitive bidding. In addition, MSEDCL has floated a tender to procure 1,000 MW of solar power through competitive bidding, which will help the state meet its RPO.