MERC invites comment on draft regulations for Distribution Open Access

MERC has issued the draft distribution open access regulations 2015 for comments by stakeholders. The key features are as follows:

  • Banking: “Banking” means the surplus Renewable Energy generation credited with the Distribution Licensee after set off with consumption in the same Time of Day slot as specified in Regulation 24;
  • Bilateral Transaction: “Bilateral transaction” means a transaction for exchange of energy between a specified buyer and specified seller(s), directly or through Trading Licensee or Power Exchange, for a fixed or varying quantum of power for any time period;
  • Consumer having Contract Demand of 500 kW and above with a particular Distribution Licensee shall be eligible for Open Access for obtaining supply of electricity from one or more:
  1. a) Generating Plants or Stations, including Captive Generating Plants;
  2. b) Trading Licensees
  3. c) Power Exchanges
  4. d) Other Distribution Licensees
  5. e) any other Sources

or a combination thereof, and all collectively called ‘Sources’

  • For the purpose of unit conversion from MVA/kVA to MW/kW, the unity power factor shall be considered;
  • Consumer located in the area of a Distribution Franchisee shall also be eligible for Open Access;
  • Distribution Franchisee shall not be eligible for Open Access, except in his capacity as a Consumer
  • Nodal Agency for Open Access and Connectivity to the distribution system shall be the Distribution Licensee in whose area of supply the Consumer or Generator is located – Nodal Agency shall specify on its website name and contact details of the nodal officer who will be a single point contact for all Open Access and Connectivity related matters in accordance with this regulations
  • Contract Demand of a Consumer availing LTOA or MTOA shall be governed by the provisions of the Electricity Supply Code and the Regulations of the Commission governing Standards of Performance
  • Generating Station, including a captive generating plant, having installed capacity less than 5 MW may apply for connectivity to the distribution system – a Generating Station having installed capacity of 5 MW and above may be provided connectivity to the distribution system if such connectivity is found to be technically feasible
  • application for Connectivity shall be accompanied by a Demand Draft or proof of payment by electronic mode for a non-refundable fee of Rupees two lakh (one lakh for RE stations)
  • cost of creation or augmentation of infrastructure for Renewable Energy Generating Stations shall be borne by that station or Distribution Licensee or STU
  • Distribution Licenses shall provide the facility of on-line submission of Applications for Connectivity and Open Access Applications within ninety days from the notification of these Regulations
  • Wheeling Charges shall be payable on the basis of actual energy flow at the consumption end
  • Wheeling Charges shall not be applicable in case a Consumer or Generating Station is connected to the distribution system directly or using dedicated lines owned by the Consumer or Generating Station
  • Cross-Subsidy Surcharge determined on a per Unit basis shall be payable monthly basis by the Open Access Consumer on the actual energy drawn at the consumption end during the month through Open Access
  • In case the Open Access Consumer or Licensee, as the case may be, purchases power from a renewable source of energy, the Cross-Subsidy Surcharge shall be 25% of the Charge stipulated by the Commission for an Open Access Consumer
  • buyer of electricity shall bear the approved distribution losses of the distribution system for the relevant voltage level, as determined by the Commission from time to time – Distribution Licensee shall adjust only the technical losses in the Distribution system and not any part of the commercial losses
  • Surplus energy from a ‘non-firm’ Renewable Energy Generating Station after setoff shall be banked with the distribution licensee
  • Banking year shall be the financial year from April to March
  • Credit for banked energy shall not be permitted during the months of October, November and March, and the credit for energy banked in other months shall be as per the energy injected in respective TOD slots determined by the Commission
  • Energy banked during peak TOD slots may also be drawn during off-peak TOD slots, but the energy banked during off-peak TOD slots may not be drawn during peak TOD slots
  • Banking charges shall be adjusted in kind @ 2% of the energy delivered at the point of drawal
  • unutilised banked energy at the end of the financial year shall be considered as deemed purchase by the Distribution Licensee at its Pooled Cost of Power Purchase for that year – such energy shall be counted towards RPO of distribution licensee and not eligible for claim of REC

The draft is available for comments till 8th October and available at the following link:

The key changes like allowing multiple source OA, banking for RE, allowing day ahead Power exchange transactions, removal of clause related to mandatory reduction of CD, visibility of concessional CSS for RE stations will increase liquidity in the market and more transactions especially in RE sector will happen.

Author NPTI Alumni


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