The Centre has directed states and union territories against curtailment of power generated from renewable energy projects in the country.

B.P. Yadav, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, in an official communique addressed to the Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary and the Secretary (Energy) of all states and union territories, with copies marked to solar developers, detailed the recent developments with regard to curtailment of power from renewables.

Yadav wrote: “If any State Load Dispatch Centre curtails wind or solar power for any reason other than grid safety or security or as prescribed in the respective Grid Code or regulation, they shall be liable for making good the loss incurred by the wind and solar power generators towards deemed generation.”

The backing down of power has assumed importance in the backdrop of the recent controversy over the Andhra Pradesh government’s efforts to renegotiate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and later curtailment of power from renewable projects.

The letter further stated that the renewable sector has been accorded ‘Must Run’ Status under the Indian Electricity Grid Code 2010 and various state grid codes and regulations under the Electricity Act 2013.

Solar and wind power generators can only be curtailed for reasons of grid safety and security, and that too after communicating the reasons for curtailment in writing to generators.

The Ministry official said it has come to their notice that in violation of these regulations, some State Load Dispatch Centres are resorting to large-scale backing down of wind and solar energy.

Therefore, he suggested to the State and UTs that the must-run status of wind and solar projects be honoured in letter and spirit and curtailment of such power be done for reasons of grid safety after communicating in writing.

The norm is that when the demand is less and supply is more, power plants that run on fossil fuels are backed down and renewables are used after all other measures have been exhausted.

With the Government keen on addressing climate change and making efforts to encourage renewable energy, any move to curtail renewable power is hard to understand and against the Government’s stated objectives.