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Consumers who have contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW will be eligible to procure green energy through open access in West Bengal, according to the Open Access Regulations, 2022.
There will be no load limitation for captive consumers procuring power under green energy open access.
The regulations issued by the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) will apply to any form of open access using an intrastate transmission system or distribution system in conjunction with the interstate transmission lines.
Long-term consumers will have priority over medium-term and short-term consumers, and medium-term consumers over short-term consumers.
For long-term and medium-term consumers, access will be given on a first-come-first-served basis.
The priority within each category of open access consumers will be a distribution licensee to the extent of its requirement for meeting its demand. However, collective transactions through power exchange will get priority within short-term transactions. Among collective transactions, the power meant for distribution licensees will get priority.
For spare capacity availability in both transmission systems and a distribution system for long-term open access, non-fossil fuel sources will have priority over open access from fossil fuels. Among such non-fossil fuel sources, the power meant for distribution licensees will get priority.
The state’s nodal agency for arranging long-term and medium-term open access will be the State Transmission Utility (STU). The nodal agency for short-term open access, which includes open access for an emergency requirement within the state, will be the state load dispatch center (SLDC).
Every month, the STU must update the SLDC about the users of long-term open access and medium-term open access along with new applicants and the requisitioned capacity so that allotment priority, as per the open access regulations, can be properly implemented.
Charges for open access
Transmission charges will be expressed in ₹/MW/month for long-term and medium-term open access. Such charges for short-term open access will be expressed in ₹/kWh.
The Commission will determine the annual fixed cost of the transmission licensee in the tariff order in terms of tariff regulations and determine the transmission charges for long-term open access and medium-term open access in terms of ₹/MW/month.
The Commission will decide the rate of wheeling charges payable to the distribution licensee in ₹/kWh. The wheeling charges for short-term open access customers will be based on the energy in kWh considering the total extent of the corridor for the entire open access period.
The open access consumer will submit a 24-hour day-ahead schedule for both drawal and injection of active power on a time-block basis to the SLDC as specified in the Grid Code or the tariff regulations. Deviation settlement charges will be paid in pursuance of the DSM regulations.
Open access consumers should pay a cross-subsidy surcharge as determined by the Commission and charges for transmission and distribution systems. The Commission will determine the surcharge amount, considering the licensee’s projected admitted cost for the relevant period.
The additional surcharge will apply only to the extent the distribution licensee demonstrates that it should bear the fixed costs toward any quantity contracted by the distribution licensee to provide connectivity to the open access consumer.
Recently, the Ministry of Power announced the launch of the National Open Access Registry. It is a single integrated window electronic platform accessible to all stakeholders, including open access participants, traders, power exchanges, and national/regional/state load despatch centers for the electronic processing of short-term open access applications.
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Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.