The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) in its latest order has clarified that open access consumers can avail open access throughout the year and are entitled for adjustment of the banked units if it sources power from the same generator.
The commission was responding to a petition filed by Krishna Valley Power Pvt. Ltd. (KVPPL) and Sahyadri Renewable Energy Pvt. Ltd. (SREPL) against the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. (MSEDCL) for the non-compliance of an earlier order passed on January 15, 2018.
KVPPL and SREPL in the petition had requested the refund of open access charges deducted on surplus units that had lapsed after November 2016.
KVPPL and SREPL have installed small hydro projects at two separate sites near Shahapur in district Thane. Both had sought Short Term Open Access (STOA) during the period April 1, 2016 to November 30, 2016 for the sale of energy to the third-party consumers; Derive Trading Pvt Ltd and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. While KVPPL was supplying power to Derive Trading, SREPL was supplying power to Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.
MSEDCL in the letter informed the petitioners that due to discontinuation of open access for the month of December 2016, the banked units cannot be carried forward to the next billing cycle.
It further added that petitioners did not apply for STOA for the month of December 2016 for Derive Trading and Glenmark. STOA was again applied for the month of January 2017 onwards in case of Derive Trading and for February 2017 in case of Glenmark.
However, for the month of February 2017, instead of KVPPL, SREPL supplied power to Derive Trading (Generator changed) and for the month of January 2017, SREPL supplied power to Derive Trading instead of Glenmark (Consumer changed).
The commission in its earlier order had directed MSEDCL to adjust the banked energy of the petitioners in consumer bills from January 2017 onwards, if the same consumer has sought open access from same generator.
The commission has now made it clear that when a consumer discontinues open access for a certain period but resumes it in the same financial year with same generator then the consumer will be given banking adjustments.
Therefore, the banking adjustments were given to Glenmark as per the commission’s order. Whereas, Derive Trading had not availed open access in December 2016 and came back to it in January 2017 and February 2017 but with a different generator. Therefore, banking adjustments were not given to the said consumer.
The Commission said –
The Commission observes that Derive Trading had availed open access from April 2016 to November 2016 by sourcing power from KVPPL. Thereafter, after a break in December 2016, Derive Trading again had availed open access, but this time from SREPL instead of KVPPL. In case, if it would had sourced the power from the same generator KVPPL then it would had been entitled for the adjustment of the banked units.
The commission felt that charges alleged by petitioners against the MSEDCL for non-compliance of its earlier order does not hold.
Recently, MERC directed Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML) not to pay any benefits to open access solar projects aggregating 6 MW. These projects were developed under the Renewable Energy Policy 2008 and were notified by the government of Maharashtra. According to the state’s policy, benefits were to accrue to renewable energy projects.