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The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has finalized the amended regulations for open access in interstate transmission, which were initially passed in 2008. The new regulations will be in effect from the day of publishing in the official gazette.

The CERC had proposed the amendments in August 2018. In response to the proposed changes, the CERC received written comments and suggestions from Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Ltd. (GETCO), Indian Energy Exchange Ltd (IEX), Indian Energy Regulatory Service (IERS), Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL), Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Ltd. (MPMCL), Multitudes Intellect and Open Access Users Association Ltd. (OAUA). The IEX and NLC India Ltd (NLCIL) also made oral submissions at the public hearing held by CERC.

After going through the comments of various stakeholders, the commission stated, “Process followed for granting short-term open access may vary from state to state. Some of the states such as Gujarat, Telangana, have implemented their software for processing the short-term open access applications in accordance with their open access regulations. To avoid any conflict with the procedure followed by different states, it has been envisaged that National Open Access Registry (NOAR) will be designed in such a manner that it can be seamlessly interfaced with the state load dispatch centers (SLDCs)’ software for processing the short-term open access applications pertaining to interstate transmission system.”

The CERC also observed that the duration of three months for the standing clearance is the ceiling and an open access applicant can apply for short-term open access for a period less than three months and the concerned regional load dispatch centers can grant short-term open access for a period less than three months depending upon the availability of transmission capacity.

A maximum period of validity of three months has been prescribed by the CERC as it would reduce the time and effort on the part of both the short-term open access applicant, as well as the dispatch centers.

The commission has removed the ‘underutilization of transmission corridor’ as one of the criteria for revising the standing clearance. Now, the dispatch centers will comprehensively review the situation and do a prudence check while issuing the standing clearance to the applicant.

In May 2018, the CERC had released procedural regulations for granting inter-state transmission system (ISTS) connectivity to renewable energy projects. In July 2018, CERC issued regulations for Draft Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Deviation Settlement Mechanism and related matters) for 2018.

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.