Grid Infrastructure in India Needs to Scale Rapidly to Keep up with Solar and Wind Tenders

The Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) has upheld the provisions of its regulations on the banking of power from fossil fuel and renewable energy-based captive generating projects.

The BERC heard a petition filed by Shree Cements Limited Rajasthan against Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL).

The petitioner had appealed to the commission for relaxing or amending the regulation under sections 13 and 14 to do away with the day ahead scheduling clause for captive projects which are co-located, approval for open access, banking of power during peak period, status of transmission and wheeling charges, and extension of banking facility period to 10 years.

The BERC, in its order, has stated that the regulations apply to all distribution licensees as well as captive fossil fuel based and renewable energy based captive power generating projects (CPP), either co-located or distantly located.



It defined banking of power as supplying of power to the grid without the intention of selling it to a third party or a licensee, but only with the intention of exercising eligibility to draw back power from the grid in the event of a deficit, emergency maintenance or a shutdown of the project.

It stated that banking facility is envisioned for all such projects as defined in Electricity Rules 2005 so the projects may have an installed capacity that’s more than the requirement. If the obligation of the day ahead scheduling of such projects is relaxed, there may be unwarranted consumption and injection of power, leading to inaccurate demand forecasting and day ahead scheduling already being done by the distribution licensees thereby impacting the least cost power purchase for the distribution licensees. Therefore it said, the relaxation of the day ahead scheduling for co-located CPPs is untenable and unacceptable.

The commission also stated that Regulation 4.9 clearly says that open access will be allowed by DISCOMs for distantly located consumption units, so in the case of a CPP which is co-located, there is no requirement for approval for open access, and transmission and wheeling charges are not applicable for them.

It was also of the opinion that the CERC regulation on DSM does not apply to captive projects availing banking of power under the BERC regulation. The state commission also stated that allowing the withdrawal of power by a captive project banked during peak hours is untenable. It also turned down the petitioner’s plea to extend the banking facility up to 10 years from the commissioning date of the captive project.

In a similar order, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) rejected a petition filed by Shree Cements requesting amendments to Distribution Open Access Regulations, 2016 and allowing the use of open access facility and banking of power from a co-located renewable energy power project simultaneously, Mercom reported previously.

In another instance, a group of six independent power producers had filed separate petitions before the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission for the settlement of disputes regarding the methodology adopted by DISCOMs in levy of wheeling charges, reported Mercom.