With India presently having a wind power installed capacity of around 32GW, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy ("MNRE") has invited comments on the draft guidelines for procurement of wind power through bidding. The draft guidelines have been formulated to promote competition and transparency through the process of bidding as required in terms of section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003. The draft guidelines identifies the participants in the bidding process and outlines the pre-bid and post-bid activities and documentation to be fulfilled while undertaking the bidding process. A copy of the draft guidelines can be found here. Comments are requested by April 21, 2017.

Comments on draft Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Cross Border Trade of Electricity) Regulations, 2017

The date has been further extended from March 31, 2017 to April 17, 2017, for receipt of comments on the draft regulations for cross border trade of electricity issued by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission ("CERC") on February 16, 2017.

Earlier on December 5, 2016, the Ministry of Power in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs, had issued Guidelines on Cross Border Trade of Electricity ("Guidelines"), to facilitate cross border trade of electricity between India and neighbouring countries. Presently, India imports around 1,450 MW from Bhutan and exports around 500 MW to Bangladesh and 300 MW to Nepal. Going forward, cross border transactions are expected to increase. The Guidelines also mandated the CERC to accordingly frame appropriate regulations, hence the present draft regulations, a copy of which can be found here.

The draft regulations, inter alia, lay down the institutional framework for cross border trade of electricity, viz. designating the authority that would facilitate the process of approval and lay down the procedure for cross border trade in electricity and its various functions; tariff determination; eligibility criteria for participating applicants; trade through Indian power exchanges; transmission planning, grant of connectivity, long term, medium term and short term open access, etc. In terms of the draft regulations, any cross border trade in electricity between India and a neighboring country will be allowed through bilateral agreements between an Indian entity and an entity of the neighboring country under the overall framework of agreements signed between the Governments of the two countries.

Discussion paper for commercial coal mining placed in public domain

Under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and Rules made thereunder, the Government of India is considering to auction coal mines for commercial mining. To prepare the modalities for allocation of coal mines through auction for sale of coal by private companies, a discussion paper containing proposed eligibility conditions and proposed auction methodology has been placed online (and can be accessed here). Comments are invited from members of the public and interested stakeholders by April 26, 2017.

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