Tata Power, Adani and BEST used power from the common grid in the years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 at cheaper rate, but did not pay the due charges
The state owned Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd “ Mahavitaran” has filed a petition before the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to recover a staggering Rs 4,200 crore from private power generation companies towards the use of power from the common grid. The petition is slated to come up for hearing on 15 January.
There is a common power grid for Mumbai and Maharashtra. The private companies Tata Power, Adani and BEST used the power from the common grid in the years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 at cheaper rate, but did not pay the due charges.
There are three electricity suppliers in Mumbai, BEST, Adani Electricity and Tata Power. BEST, also known as Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport, provides electricity to the main city i.e town areas (Colaba, Bandra, Dadar). Adani Electricity (Previously Reliance Energy) and Tata Power provides electricity to the rest of the Mumbai i.e suburbs like Bandra to Bhandup, covering an area of 384 sq. km.
Adani is the largest private thermal power producer in India with an installed capacity of 10,480 mw. While it has a 500 mw thermal power station at Dahanu in Palghar district it also purchases power fromTata Power. The company operates five super critical boilers of 660 mw each at Mundra Gujarat and five 660 mw units at Tiroda (Gondia) in Maharashtra. It also operates a mega solar plant of 40 mw at Naliya, Bitta, Kutch, Gujarat.
Whenever there is a less demand, electricity is deposited in a common grid by the Maharashtra State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) of the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Co Ltd. These private companies have been using the energy at cheaper rates.
These companies are supposed to pay the charges for the energy used as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Levy and Collection of Fees and Charges by State Load Despatch Centre) Regulations 2014.
As per the present practice, the beneficiaries of the services of SLDC include the distribution licensees in Maharashtra who utilise the intra -State transmission system for transmission of power and who also avail the services of the SLDC for scheduling, metering, energy accounting, operation of pool account, etc.
Accordingly, the annual SLDC Charges and SLDC Operating charges are levied on such beneficiaries. This is being done as per the amendment issued by the Central Government through its order of 8th June 2005 notified as “The Electricity (Removal of Difficulty) Sixth Order, 2005”. It has been clarified that SLDC fees and charges may be levied on distribution licensees instead of transmission licensees as stated under Section 32(3) of Electricity Act 2003.
Mahavitaran CPRO P S Patil confirmed that Mahavitaran has filed the petition before MERC to recover the dues from these companies and if recovered in time, it will be great help to the power distribution company, already facing cash crunch due to pending power bills across the state.