Indian State’s Solar Decree Overturned on Power-User Objections

An Indian tribunal set aside an order by the Tamil Nadu state electricity regulator that forced large energy consumers to purchase solar power.

The order by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission is discriminatory, a two-man panel of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, headed by Justice M. Karpaga Vinayagam, said in a judgment dated Jan. 21. Members of a spinning mill association had challenged the regulator’s order.

Large consumers of electricity such as exporters, manufacturers and telecommunications-tower operators had to source at least 6 percent of their energy requirements from solar power in addition to their existing renewable purchase obligations from 2014, the regulator had announced in October 2012, when it unveiled a new policy for solar energy. It also set a target of generating 3,000 megawatts of electricity from solar power by 2015.

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