CERC Issues Transmission Corridor Allocation of RTM for Electricity in India

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Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) recently passed an order regarding Implementation of Real Time Market (RTM) for Electricity in India –Transmission Corridor Allocation.

The order states that “The Commission, in order to implement Real Time Market (RTM) for electricity in India, has made provisions through amendments in relevant Regulations on 12th December, 2019 , namely Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Indian Electricity Grid Code) (Sixth Amendment) Regulations, 2019; Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Open Access in inter-State Transmission) (Sixth Amendment) Regulations, 2019; and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Power Market) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2019.”

RTM for electricity has been designed for “half an hour delivery period with two 15 minute time blocks’ ‘ at regular intervals throughout the day. Price discovery method has been specified as double sided closed auction. In order to bring in firmness in the schedule and transactions in real time, the concept of “Gate Closure” has also been provided in the framework for RTM.

It added “ RTM shall have 48 sessions in a day starting from 00:00hrs up to 24:00 hrs. Buyers and sellers shall have the option of placing buy and sell bids for each fifteen-minute time block in the half hourly Real Time Market.“

The amendments in the Regulations for implementation of RTM were to come into effect from 1 st April, 2020. However, in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the Commission deferred the implementation of RTM by two months, vide notifications dated 20th March, 2020. Accordingly RTM is to commence w.e.f. 1st June, 2020.

The National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC)/Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) issued detailed procedures for scheduling of collective transactions through Real Time Market (RTM) on 15th May, 2020, after due consultation with stakeholders. The procedure shall apply to the applications made for Scheduling of Collective Transactions in RTM by availing of Short Term Open Access. 

It also states that “After due consultation with stakeholders, the Power exchanges have also proposed modifications in their Rules and bylaws to introduce Real time contracts and for approval of such modifications, they have filed petitions before the Commission”. The Commission has completed hearings of the Petitions and is in the process of approving the modifications.

The Commission has reviewed the issues involved in implementation of RTM framework with effect from 1st June, 2020. One of the issues, namely, the method of allocation of transmission corridors between the power exchanges for Real time transactions, was brought to the notice of the Commission.

The Commission has examined the operational feasibility of various options for allocation of transmission corridor between the Power Exchanges as below:

Option-1: Ex-ante allocation of transmission corridor based on cleared volume in Day Ahead Market in the respective Power Exchanges.

Option-2: Ex-ante allocation of transmission corridor based on cleared volume in Real Time Market in the respective Power Exchanges

Option-3: Allocation of transmission corridor in case of congestion based on the ratio of initial market clearing volume of RTM in the respective Power Exchanges

The Commission considered the various options discussed above carefully and is of the view that Option-3 is the most optimal. This option envisages that after the gate closure, within the next fifteen minute time block, the entire process of file transfer and verification of combined volume cleared for both exchanges against the ATC for RTM, has to be completed.

The Commission recognises the operational challenges of this option in the context of short time available for processing in RTM. Based on the review, the Commission is of the view that this option is feasible, but that greater confidence, especially in terms of robustness of software and communication link, would come with implementation experience over time.

The limit for scheduling of collective transaction during real time for respective Power Exchanges shall be worked out in accordance with the following directives:-

 (i) At Gate Closure, the NLDC shall announce the available transfer capability (ATC) for Real time transactions; (ii) Both the Power Exchanges shall run the process of bid matching considering all the buy and sell bids on their platform, factoring ATC for Real time transactions, announced by the NLDC. (iii) The initial market clearing volume derived in this process shall be submitted to the nodal agency, NLDC. NLDC shall verify the combined volume cleared in both exchanges against the ATC for RTM. (iv) If the combined cleared volume of the two Power Exchanges is within the ATC for Real time transaction, the initial results shall be confirmed by NLDC to the Power Exchanges.

In the extreme event of failure of communication between the NLDC and the Power Exchange(s) or for reasons such as data transfer failure, if the final cleared trades are not received by NLDC for scheduling through the RLDCs, or if the information regarding available corridor margin is not received by Power Exchanges(s), the schedules for such RTM session(s) shall be made zero by NLDC.

The commision also highlighted that the entire process as above needs to be completed within 15 minutes. Therefore, the necessary software and communication between NLDC and the Power Exchanges are required to be adequate and the process be made fully automated to ensure smooth run of the market sessions throughout the day. Additionally, Power Exchanges need to ensure a robust and redundant communication system for uninterrupted and reliable interfacing with NLDC. 

The arrangement as above shall, to start with, be applicable for the period from 1st June, 2020 to 14 th June, 2020.Iit will be examined by NLDC AND NLDC will report to the Commission for the period 1st June, 2020 to 7th June, 2020 and 8th June, 2020 to 12 th June, 2020 on 9th June, 2020 and 13th June, 2020, respectively. Based on the report and analysis of NLDC, the Commission shall review and decide the principles for allocation of transmission corridors for the period beyond 14 th June, 2020. 

The Commission also directs NLDC to incorporate the above directions suitably in the detailed procedure for scheduling of collective transactions in RTM. Additionally Power Exchanges are also directed to act as per the above directions to ensure smooth implementation of RTM with effect from 1st June, 2020.

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