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CARE Ratings lowers outlook for Telangana solar projects to negative

FE Bureau
CARE Ratings, Telangana, Telangana solar projects, electricity distribution, Acme Solar

In the wake of aggravating financial conditions of two electricity distribution companies (discoms) of Telangana, CARE Ratings has revised its rating outlook for 11 solar generators supplying power to the state from 'stable' to 'negative'. Out of these, the agency has downgraded the ratings on projects of two subsidiaries of Acme Solar (Dayakara Solar and Grahati Solar) from A- to BBB+. Projects whose rating outlook has been revised downward include assets of ReNew Power and Mytrah Energy.

The tariffs of all these projects, with an aggregate installed capacity of 574 MW, range between Rs 5.26 to Rs 6.89 per unit.

The state has 3,620.8 giga-watt (GW) of installed solar projects, comprising more than 12% of the country’s solar capacity. "Revision in outlook and ratings reflects increased counter-party risk and weakening in the liquidity position of these generators, owing to significant delays in the receipt of payments from the off-takers," CARE Ratings said on Monday. "Solar power generators in Telangana have been facing delays in payments by up-to 11 months," it added.

According to industry sources, the Solar Power Developers Association has already written to the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) regarding Telangana's delayed payment situation. Cumulative dues from Telangana discoms, pending since July 2018, is seen to be around Rs 1,400 crore. At the end of FY19, financial losses of Telangana discoms stood at Rs 7,609 crore.

As of June-end, Telangana discoms owed Rs 3,027 crore (pending more than 60 days) to thermal power generators. With outstanding dues spiralling to nearly Rs 6,000 crore, state-owned power generation company NTPC, in February, had threatened to cut supplies to the discoms of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana.