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Green energy: Andhra to clear Rs 1,095 crore dues in a month

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy

State-run electricity distribution companies (discoms) of Andhra Pradesh on Friday told the Amaravati High Court that they would clear outstanding dues worth Rs 1,095 crore to wind and solar power plants “within the next four weeks”.

According to the September order of the High Court, the discoms were required to pay the bills at discounted rates of Rs 2.43 per unit to wind plants and Rs 2.44 per unit to solar-based generating stations.

Out of the total outstanding amount of Rs 1,450 crore, the discoms have already paid Rs 355 crore after raising loans from various sources. The discoms claimed in the court that the central government’s Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency will disburse further loans to them “within a short period”, which will enable them to clear the dues.

The new government in Andhra Pradesh, against the advice of the Union power ministry, has formed a committee to revise “abnormally priced wind and solar” power purchase agreements, saying these might have been inked with “malafide intentions” and could have “resulted in unjustified burden on the consumers of the state”. The FY19 losses of Andhra Pradesh discoms were Rs 1,563 crore which the newly elected state government has attributed to “high cost renewable energy purchases”.

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that wind power was earlier being bought at Rs 4.84/unit when thermal energy, which had to be backed down, was already tied up at Rs 4.2/unit.

This effectively resulted in cost of wind power coming to Rs 5.94/unit as the state, under contractual obligation, had to continue paying Rs 1.1/unit fixed cost to thermal power plants even when they were not using this electricity to accommodate renewables.

Crisil has noted that the state’s move could put additional stress on about 5.2 giga-watt (GW) of wind and solar energy projects with an estimated debt exposure of over Rs 21,000 crore.

Source: Financial Express