No Load Limit for Grant of Green Energy Open Access for Captive Consumers

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has 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.

All applications for open access to green energy will be allowed by the nodal agency within fifteen days.

The rules will be applicable for the generation, purchase, and consumption of green energy, including the energy from the waste-to-energy projects.


Reasonable conditions such as the minimum number of time blocks, which should not be more than 12, for which the consumer should not change the quantum of power consumed through open access, may be imposed to avoid high variation in demand to be met by the distribution licensee.

Last August, the Ministry of Power issued the Draft Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021.

Renewable Purchase Obligation

As per the regulations, from the date of commencement of these rules, there will be a uniform renewable purchase obligation on all obligated entities in the area of a distribution licensee.

Any entity may opt to generate, purchase and consume renewable energy as per its  requirements by one or more of the following methods:

  • There is no capacity limit for installing power plants from renewable energy sources by entities for their consumption. Such projects may be set up at any location in India. Power will be transmitted using open access.
  • By procuring renewable energy through open access from any developer either directly or through a trading licensee or power markets.
  • Any entity may purchase green energy either up to a certain percentage of the consumption or its total consumption. The entity may place a requisition for this with its distribution licensee, which shall procure such quantity of green energy and supply it. The consumer will have the flexibility to give separate requisitions for solar and non-solar. Any requisition for green energy from a distribution licensee will be for a minimum period of one year. The green energy purchased from the distribution licensee or renewable energy sources other than the distribution licensee above the RPO target of the obligated entity will be counted towards the RPO compliance of the distribution licensee.
  • By consuming green energy from captive power projects.
  • The obligated entity can also meet its RPO by purchasing green hydrogen or green ammonia.

Green energy open access

The nodal agency should allow all applications for open access of green energy within 15 days.

Nodal agency

According to the regulations, a central nodal agency will be set up and operate a single-window green energy open access system for renewable energy.

The appropriate commission will notify the appropriate load despatch center as the nodal agency for grant of green energy open access for the short term, and the state or central transmission utility as the nodal agency for grant of green energy open access for medium and long term.

Banking

Banking will be permitted at least every month on payment of charges to compensate additional costs to the distribution licensee, and the appropriate commission will determine the applicable charges.

The permitted quantum of banked energy by the green energy open access consumers will be at least 30% of the total monthly electricity consumption from the distribution licensee.

Charges to be levied for open access

Cross-subsidy surcharge

The cross-subsidy surcharge for the open access consumer purchasing green energy will not be increased by more than 50% of the surcharge determined for the year in which open access has been granted for twelve years from the operation of the generating plant.

If power produced from a waste-to-energy plant is supplied to the open access consumer, the cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge will not apply. The surcharges will not be applicable if green energy is utilized to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.

The distribution licensee would give green certificates on a yearly basis to the consumers for the green energy on a request beyond the renewable purchase obligation.

The state commission may introduce the concept of rating the consumer of the distribution licensee based on the percentage of green energy purchased.

Procedure for grant of open access

Within 60 days of commencement of these rules, the nodal agency should prepare a common application format for the green energy open access in consultation with the Forum of Regulators.

The nodal agency concerned will approve the applications within 15 days, failing which it will be deemed to have been approved subject to the fulfillment of the technical requirements as specified by the appropriate commission.

Short-term and medium-term open access will be allowed if sufficient spare capacity is available in the transmission system without any augmentation. In contrast, the transmission system may be augmented if required for long-term open access.

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