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The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has issued the draft ‘Green Energy Open Access Regulations, 2022.’
The stakeholders can provide their suggestions within 30 days from the date of the issuance of the order.
According to the new regulations, the open access consumers will be classified into the following categories:
- Long-term open access consumers: Consumers availing open access for more than five years
- Medium-term open access consumers: Consumers availing open access for more than one year and less than five years
- Short-term open access consumers: Consumers availing open access for one year or less
As per the proposed regulations, the consumers will be eligible for open access through the intrastate transmission system of the state transmission utility (STU) or distribution systems of the distribution licensees within the state.
Any consumer with a captive power project will have the right to open access under the proposed regulations. Consumers (except captive consumers) who have a sanctioned load of 100 kW and above will be eligible for open access under the proposed regulations.
All the green energy open access applications will be submitted to the portal set up by the central nodal agency. The applications will then be routed to the state nodal agency. Karnataka State Load Despatch Center has been designated as the nodal agency for green energy open access.
Green energy open access consumers will have a preference over normal open access consumers. Among the green energy open access, long-term open access consumers will have priority over medium-term and short-term open access consumers.
Procedure for the grant of green open access
The Commission has proposed that the state nodal agency should ensure that the applicants pay a non-refundable processing fee of ₹5,000 (~$63) for long-term open access/medium-term open access and ₹1,000 (~$13) for short-term open access.
The application for long-term and medium-term open access should be accompanied by a bank guarantee of ₹10,000 (~$130)/MW, which should be kept valid until the signing of the wheeling agreement. The bank guarantee will be encashed if the applicant withdraws the application before signing the agreement.
If there is a change regarding the injection point or the quantum of power to be interchanged using the intrastate transmission or distribution system, a fresh application should be made for the entire capacity, and it should be accompanied by relevant documents and application fee.
For the energy injected into the licensee’s network from the date of grant of open access until the date of submission of the wheeling agreement, the applicant will be entitled to payment at the average pooled power purchase cost or 75% of the generic tariff determined by the Commission.
New generating projects seeking long-term open access should commission the project within 12 months, failing which the open access granted to the consumer will stand canceled.
Non-utilization of services by open access consumers
In the event of the inability of the short-term open access consumer to utilize more than four hours of the total or substantial part of the energy allocated to them, they should inform the respective state load despatch center (SLDC) of their inability to utilize the capacity and surrender the allocated capacity.
A long-term or medium-term open access consumer should not relinquish his right specified in the open access agreement without the prior approval of the nodal agency. The SLDC may reduce the capacity allocated to a short-term open access consumer if the consumer underutilizes the allocated capacity more than twice a month, with the duration of underutilization exceeding two hours each time.
Open access charges
The Commission will determine transmission charges, wheeling charges, cross-subsidy charges, additional surcharge, banking charges, and standby charges, considering the methodology specified for green open access. Until the methodology is finalized, the above charges will be determined by the Commission from time to time.
Banking will be permitted every month on payment of applicable charges as determined by the Commission. The banked energy will not be permitted to be carried forward to the subsequent months, and the credit for the energy banked during the month will be adjusted during the same month.
The payment for the banked energy remaining unutilized will be as per the actual banked energy limited to 30% of the consumption during the month from the licensee. The electricity supply companies (ESCOMs) will pay 75% of the generic tariff for such renewable energy sources for the relevant period.
The Commission has proposed that short-term open access consumers will be curtailed first, followed by short-term green energy open access consumers. Next medium-term open access consumers will be curtailed, followed by medium-term green energy open access consumers. Finally, long-term open access consumers will be curtailed, followed by long-term green energy open access consumers.
The green energy open access consumers should install tri-vector meters with a time-of-day facility. The meters should be capable of time-differentiated measurements (15 minutes) of necessary parameters and communicate their reading to the SLDC in real-time.
The consumers should also abide by the state grid code, distribution code, and all other codes and regulations as applicable from time to time.
The SLDC must post all the information on a separate web page titled ‘Green Energy Open Access Information’ and issue a monthly and annual report containing such information.
In June this year, the Ministry of Power issued the Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022.’ As per the new regulations, consumers will be eligible for green energy open access if they have a contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or more. For captive consumers, there will be no load limitation.
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