Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL): A Coram of R.K. Gauba (Officiating Chairperson) and Sandesh Kumar Sharma (Technical Member) decided on an appeal which was filed by Solar Power Project Developer (“SPD”) assailing order passed by respondent Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (“the State Commission”) disallowing the benefit of increase in the tariff based on the change in law provision with respect to increased Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs of its 10MW solar power generating system.

The State Commission while accepting that the GST laws do constitute a change in law event within the meaning of the expression used in the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) binding the parties, it denied the relief taking exception to the fact that the operation and maintenance work had been outsourced.

The Tribunal observed that it was fairly conceded by the counsel for the appellant and for the respondent procurers (distribution licensees) through their respective counsel that it would be appropriate that the matter was remitted to the State Commission for revisit of the decision taken denying the relief on the above mentioned reason, in as much as should the State Commission now accept the contention of the appellant that the relief was admissible in terms of ruling in Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd. v. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, 2021 SCC OnLine APTEL 10.

The Tribunal finally set aside the impugned order of the State Commission and remitted the matter to it for fresh consideration, after hearing the parties, in accordance with law.[Azure Power Eris (P) Ltd. v. Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission, 2022 SCC OnLine APTEL 8, decided on 13-01-2022]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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