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Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited moves Appellate Tribunal for Electricity to cut solar tariff rates

According to reports, the state government has approached the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel) challenging dismissal of its petition seeking lowering of solar power tariff by the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC).

“Yes, the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has filed an appeal with Aptel challenging dismissal of its petition by the electricity regulator,” confirmed a senior official, requesting anonymity.

The Aptel is expected to hear GUVNL’s appeal on November 11, said a solar power project developer.

GUVNL had signed 25-year power purchase agreements for 971.5 MW solar power with 88 developers in 2010. It also came out with a solar power policy to attract fresh investments. The developers were offered Rs15 per unit for the first 12 years and Rs5 per unit for the remaining 13 years. However, it is currently buying around 860 MW of solar power.

Despite repeated efforts, GUVNL managing director Raj Gopal did not respond to phone calls.

Earlier this year (in May), GUVNL had approached GERC seeking reduction in tariff paid to solar power developers citing excessive profits earned by them. It had sought a levelised tariff of around Rs9 per unit instead of the current tariff of Rs12.54.

It reasoned that many developers had spent lower than projected amount for setting up solar plants, and were making ‘unwanted, unjustified and windfall gains’. However, GERC had rejected the demand in August.

GUVNL, however, is not giving up, and has challenged the dismissal in Aptel. An official said that purchase of solar power is putting heavy strain on GUVNL’s finances.

“It is also affecting the cash flow. A lower levelised tariff will help us in managing the cash flow better,” said another senior official.

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