The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has issued a draft regulation – ‘Connectivity and General Network Access to the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) Regulations, 2021.’
The proposed regulations provide the framework to facilitate open access power to consumers, generating companies, and distribution licensees for ISTS use through General Network Access (GNA). GNA is open access to ISTS connectivity granted under these regulations.
These regulations will come into force on a date to be specified by the Commission.
Connectivity to ISTS
The following entities will be eligible to apply for the grant of connectivity to the ISTS:
- Generating stations, including renewable projects with or without energy storage system (ESS), with an installed capacity of 50 MW or above individually or with an aggregate installed capacity of 50 MW and above through a lead generator
- Captive projects with capacity for injection to ISTS of 50 MW and above
- Standalone ESS with an installed capacity of 50 MW and above individually or with an aggregate installed capacity of 50 MW and above through a lead generator or lead ESS
- Renewable energy park developers
- Renewable generating projects or standalone ESS with an installed capacity of 5 MW and above applying for the grant of connectivity to ISTS through the electrical system already having connectivity to ISTS
The applicant will be required to submit a connectivity bank guarantee in three parts — Conn-BG1 amounting to ₹5 million (~$65,601); Conn-BG2 of ₹20 million (~$262,406) for a 132 kV terminal bay, ₹30 million (~$393,609) for a 220kV/230 kV terminal bay, ₹60 million (~$787,218) for a 400 kV terminal bay, and ₹120 million (~$1.57 million) for a 765 kV terminal bay; and Conn-BG3 of ₹200,000 (~$2,624)/MW for the existing ISTS.
Within 15 days of receiving the Conn-BG2 and Conn-BG3, the nodal agency will intimate the final grant of connectivity to the entity that has been intimated in-principle grant of connectivity.
Within 30 days of the grant of connectivity by the nodal agency, the connectivity agreement will be signed between the entity and the nodal agency.
If the connectivity is granted to a generating station or a captive generating project, or a standalone ESS, the dedicated transmission lines should be established, operated, and maintained by such entities. In the case of a renewable power park developer, the dedicated transmission lines will be developed, owned, and operated by the developer.
General Network Access
The following entities will be eligible for the grant of GNA:
- State Transmission Utility (STU) on behalf of distribution licensees connected to ISTS and other intrastate entities
- A buying entity connected to the intrastate transmission system
- A distribution licensee or a bulk consumer seeking to connect to ISTS, directly, with a load of 50 MW and above
- Trading licensees engaged in cross border trade of electricity
- Transmission licensee connected to ISTS for drawal of auxiliary power
Grant of additional GNA to STU
The nodal agency should process all the applications within two months and grant additional GNA to the STU based on the available transmission capacity.
Grant of connectivity to entities other than STU
Entities granted connectivity to ISTS will be deemed to have been granted GNA, equal to the quantum of connectivity from the start date of connectivity.
A buying entity connected to the intrastate transmission system and trading licensees engaged in cross-border trade of electricity will be granted GNA as per the following timeline:
- Where GNA is granted on the existing system: by the end of the month after the month in which application complete in all respects has been received
- Where augmentation of the transmission system is required: within 180 days from the end of the month in which the application has been received
The following entities will be eligible to apply for Temporary GNA to ISTS:
- Distribution licensee directly connected to ISTS
- Bulk consumer directly connected to ISTS
- A buying entity connected to the intrastate transmission system
- Generating stations including renewable energy generating stations for meeting its auxiliary consumption
- Captive generating plant
- Standalone ESS
Power exchange for collective transactions or bilateral transactions
The National Load Despatch Center (NLDC) or the nodal Regional Load Despatch Center (RLDC) should convey the grant of Temporary GNA to the applicant as per timelines stipulated in the regulations. In the event of rejection of the application, NLDC or the nodal RLDC should give reasons.
Transmission charges for Temporary GNA
The transmission charge rate for Temporary GNA, in ₹/MW/time block, for a state should be published for each month by the implementing agency.
In the case of bilateral and collective transactions, the transmission charges for Temporary GNA should be payable only at the point of drawal, as per the last published transmission charge rate for Temporary GNA for the state where such point of drawal is located.
Allocation of transmission corridor under GNA and Temporary GNA
The entities to whom GNA has been granted will be eligible to schedule power within the GNA, provided that in the case of constraint in the transmission system, the available transmission corridor will be allocated to the GNA grantees in proportion to their GNA within the region or outside the region.
A temporary GNA grantee under the advance application category will be eligible to schedule power, provided the day ahead scheduling request for total quantum cannot be accommodated due to the non-availability of a sufficient transmission corridor.
Once the day ahead schedule is finalized, the schedule for Temporary GNA grantees under the advance application category will be finalized over the balance transmission corridor.
If an application for the grant of connectivity or grant of Long-Term Access or Medium-Term Open Access is yet to be granted as on the date of coming into effect of these regulations, the applicant will have the option of withdrawing the application or converting the application by complying with the regulations.
When it becomes inevitable to curtail power flow on a transmission corridor due to transmission constraints or in the interest of grid security, the transactions already scheduled may be curtailed by the RLDC as per the following provisions:
- Transactions under Temporary GNA will be curtailed first, followed by transactions under GNA
- Within transactions under Temporary GNA, bilateral transactions will be curtailed first, followed by collective transactions under day-ahead market followed by collective transactions under real-time market
In October this year, the Ministry of Power notified the Electricity (Transmission System Planning, Development, and Recovery of Inter-State Transmission Charges) Rules 2021 to enable power utilities to access the transmission network across the country smoothly.
Earlier, CERC had issued a detailed procedure for granting connectivity to renewable projects to ISTS.
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