The Supreme Court, while allowing an appeal filed by Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited against an order passed by Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), noted that tariffs of green energy have come down substantially.

The court said that the purpose of timelines in a project to supply renewable wind power was to ensure the early supply of green energy and the reduction of the carbon footprint.

Wind Four Renergy Private Limited (WFRPL) and Power Trading Company India Limited (PTC) had entered into five Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) whereby WFRPL had agreed to establish a wind power unit and generate to supply renewable (wind) power to PTC. SECI was the implementing agency for the project.

The Scheduled Commercial Operation Date was 18 months from the date of the Letter of Award. However, the project faced setbacks due to delays in operationalizing the Long Term Access (LTA) by the inter-state transmission licensee. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy granted concessions, extending the commissioning date by 60 days post-operationalization of LTA.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) further granted an additional extension, pushing the revised scheduled date of commissioning, a decision upheld by SECI but challenged by WFRPL. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) directed that the period of 132 days, for which delay was to be condoned, would commence from the date of the impugned judgment.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta observed, “Once WFRPL became aware and had knowledge that LTA was functional, and they had been granted benefit of 60 days in terms of the letter dated 22.10.2019 and 132 days in terms of the order of the CERC, the direction that the period of 132 days shall commence from the date the APTEL order is irrational.

Sr. Advocate C. Aryama Sundaram represented the appellant, while AOR T. Mahipal appeared for the respondents.

The Court called the impugned judgment and the operative directions given “unsustainable as irrational as well as being contrary to the scheme and the PPA.

The Court remarked, “The objective and purpose of timelines is to ensure early supply of green energy and reduction of carbon footprint. Tariffs of green energy, it is well known, have come down substantially.

The Court restored the order of the CERC and set aside the impugned judgment of the APTEL.

The Court noted that pursuant to the impugned judgment, the SECI had refunded Rs.10 crores to WFRPL and directed that SECI would be entitled to recover the said amount along with a simple interest at the rate of 12% per annum.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal.

Cause Title: Solar Energy Corporation Of India Limited v. Wind Four Renergy Private Limited & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 160)


Appellant: Sr. Advocate C. Aryama Sundaram and M.G. Ramachandran; AOR Nikunj Dayal; Advocate Anushree Bardhan and Aneesh Bajaj

Respondents: AOR T. Mahipal and Guntur Prabhakar; Advocates Alok Krishna Agarwal, Naveen Chawla, Mayank Bughani, Prerna Singh and Ravi Kishore

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