The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has come up with open access regulations, termed as the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (terms and conditions for open access) Regulations, 2019.
As per the regulations, long-term open access customers will have the highest priority, followed by the medium-term open access customers and then short-term open access customers.
As for the eligibility criteria, open access will be permissible to the consumers seeking open access for a contracted demand of 1 MW and above connected at 11 kV and above.
The regulations apply to:
- Eligible licensees;
- A power generating company, including a captive power plant;
- A consumer with a contracted demand of 1 MW and above; and
- Distribution franchisee
The UPERC has specified that in addition to the transmission and wheeling charges, an open access consumer other than a captive consumer will have to pay a surcharge. Consumers availing the interstate transmission system exclusively will also pay cross-subsidy surcharge.
The customer, whose capacity has been surrendered, should pay 25% of open access charges on surrendered capacity in addition to full open access charges on revised capacity during the remaining period of the transaction.
A medium-term open access customer may relinquish rights, fully or partly, by giving at least three months’ prior notice to the nodal agency. Such a customer has to pay applicable transmission/wheeling charges in full for the notice period.
A long-term open access customer may relinquish rights, fully or partly, by giving at least 1-year prior notice to the nodal agency.
Charges for Open Access
The commission will determine the transmission and wheeling charges payable by an open access customer in its tariff order.
In case an intra-state transmission system or distribution system is used by an open access customer in addition to the interstate transmission system, transmission charges and wheeling charges should be payable for the use of intrastate transmission and distribution system in addition to payment of transmission charges for inter-state transmission.
A consumer utilizing open access and receiving power from a person other than the distribution licensee of his area of supply will have to pay an additional surcharge to the distribution licensee. The additional surcharge will be determined by the Commission, in its tariff order and will be payable in addition to wheeling and cross-subsidy surcharge.
The regulations list reactive energy charges payable by open access consumers as per the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Grid Code.
If an open access customer is not a consumer of the DISCOM, then standby power arrangement should be provided by the DISCOM for a maximum period of 60 days in a year, subject to load shedding and on payment of 1.5 times the demand and energy charge for that category of consumer.
The imbalance between scheduled and actual injection or power drawal of generator or distribution licensee or transmission network connected open access consumer will be settled as per the deviation settlement mechanism (DSM) charges per DSM regulations notified by UPERC.
Open access consumers who consume electricity procured from conventional fossil fuel-based generation will have to meet their RPO either through power purchase from renewable energy sources or the purchase of renewable energy certificates. In case such an open access consumer fails to meet RPO through the above means, it will have to pay an RPO surcharge.
Intrastate open access transactions with respect to all customers and generating stations, irrespective of the capacity, will be scheduled by the state load despatch center (SLDC) per the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Grid Code or applicable regulations. However, scheduling of interstate open access transactions will be as directed by the CERC.
Recently, UPERC issued draft regulations for forecasting, scheduling, and deviation settlement of solar and wind projects in the state. In April 2018, the state commission had issued similar draft regulations; however, this year, the state has gone into the details of the mechanism. The commission has invited comments from stakeholders by December 18, 2019.
In January this year, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) finalized the amended regulations for open access in interstate transmission, which were initially passed in 2008. The CERC had proposed the amendments in August 2018.