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Wind companies withdraw High Court plea against Tamil Nadu auction
Wind energy developers and equipment manufacturers who moved the Madras High Court to stop Tamil Nadu from holding its wind auction have had second thoughts and withdrawn their petition. The Indian Wind Energy Association had filed the petition after Tamil Nadu Generation & Distribution Co (Tangedco) invited bids for 500 MW at the end of May.
“The petitioner counsel states that he would withdraw the writ petition. The honourable court accepted the withdrawal and passed order accordingly,” SK Rameshuwar, the discom’s lawyer said in a letter to the chief engineer of Tangedco on September 12.
The developers had contested the holding of the auction when a price of Rs 4.16 per unit had already been set by the state regulator and was valid till April next year. IWEA chairman V Subramanian did not respond to queries about why the petition was withdrawn.
“The developers decided they did not want hostility with Tangedco,” said a person familiar with the development, explaining the withdrawal. “They also want to participate in future bids.”
The imbroglio showed up the lack of unity among wind developers, given that some of them participated in the very auction they had opposed. The person said some manufacturers and developers in the association were dismayed at having given their rivals a walkover by not bidding in the auction. Tamil Nadu was the first state to put out a wind energy tender after the auction held by the Solar Corporation of India, an arm of the ministry of new and renewable energy, in February.
The winning bid at this auction was Rs 3.46 per unit, which was set as the reserve price for the Tangedco tender. The petitioners had argued that the wind power tariff set by the Tamil Nadu power regulator was valid up to April 1, 2018, and no auction should be held until then. They also said the ministry had not circulated the final guidelines for conducting wind auctions. The court, however, allowed the auction process to continue pending a verdict.
The Tamil Nadu auction in August generated a winning bid of .`3.42 per unit from ReGen Powertech. Had the court ultimately ruled against Tangedco, the entire auction could have been annulled.