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The draft ‘Open Access Regulations, 2022’ has been released by the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC).
Stakeholders have till June 2, 2022, to offer their thoughts and criticisms. The rules will apply to any type of open access for using an intrastate transmission or distribution system in conjunction with interstate transmission lines.
For long-term open access, the applicant must submit an application for connectivity along with the application seeking long-term open access. An open access consumer having outstanding dues of any transmission licensee or distribution licensee against billing for more than a month will not be allowed to avail open access. Any person intending to avail open access should have existing connectivity with the transmission or distribution licensee concerned with whose system it is connected.
A licensee or a generating company or a captive generating plant or a consumer may be declared eligible for open access by the commission for open access to intra state transmission system, for using the transmission system of the transmission licensee.
A licensee or a generating company or a captive generating plant or a consumer may be declared eligible for open access by the commission for open access to distribution system and associated facilities for using the distribution system and associated facilities of the distribution licensee.
An open access customer having outstanding dues against billing for more than one month shall not be allowed to avail open access. An open access customer with critical loads where the distribution of supply may result in law and order problems, then open access customer has to have back up power arrangement as a condition of eligibility of getting open access.
The nodal agency for short-term open access (STOA) which includes open access for emergency requirement within the state shall be SLDC.
The nodal agency for arranging the long-term open access (LTOA) and medium-term open access (MTOA) within the state shall be STU.
The LTOA customers should have priority over MTOA & STOA customers for getting and availing open access from concern nodal agencies.
The MTOA customers should have priority over STOA customers in getting open access.
Criteria for assessing the technical feasibility for open access :
The capacity available for open access shall be considered after taking into account the following factors:
Transmission lines & associated systems : The capacity available for open access in transmission line and the associated system shall be considered.
Distribution & associated systems : The capacity available for open access in distribution line and the associated system shall be considered.
Computation of capacity availability for open access in transmission system :
Where, DC = Designed capacity of the transmission segment in MW, SD = Sustained demand (peak load experience) in MW recorded in the segment, AC = Already allotted capacity, but not availed in MW, RM= Reliability margin, NC= New capacity in MW expected to be added and ND= New demand expected to be added.
Computation of capacity availability for open access in distribution system :
The concerned distribution licensee shall determine the available capacity for allottment for the portion of the distribution system over which open access requested for.
Procedure for granting long-term open access
Procedure for Long-term open access involving inter-state transmission system shall be as relevant regulations of CERC.
Procedure for granting medium-term open access
Procedure for Medium-term open access involving inter-state transmission system shall be as relevant regulations of CERC.
Medium-term open access involving the State grid only : An application for medium term open access shall not be earlier than 5 months and not later then 2 years from the last day of the month in which the application has been made. The application should be granted by STU.
Procedure for granting short-term open access
Procedure for Short-term open access involving inter-state transmission system shall be as relevant regulations of CERC.
Short-term open access involving the state grid :
Advance reservation :
i. The application received upto last day of the Nth month for short term open access commencing and terminating in the (N+2)th month shall be considered for advance reservation. The nodal agency shall convey its acceptance to the applicant by the close of the Nth month.
ii. The application received upto 10 days prior to closing of the Nth month for STOA commencing and terminating in the (N+1)th month shall be considered for advance reservation.
Procedures for Granting Open Access through Power Exchanges :
The procedure for open access through power exchanges should be as per the CERC regulations. On getting applications for short-term open access from the power exchanges through the National Open Access Registry, SLDC will give a no-objection to the applicant based on the assessment of capacity availability.
Issues on Agreements under these Regulations :
Connectivity Agreement : Open access to the grid can be permitted only to a person having connectivity with the grid. An applicant must have a valid connectivity agreement in terms of LTOA, MTOA or STOA. However, within two months from the date of approval of standard connectivity agreement by the commission, the licensee shall sign the connectivity agreement .
Power purchase and Sale agreement : Any applicant intending to avail of the open access must have a valid PPA with the generating companies.
Open access agreement :
An applicant who has been permitted to avail long-term open access and medium-term open access should enter into an open access agreement with the STU or a tripartite agreement with the STU and the relevant transmission or distribution licensee.
The agreement should clearly explain if there is a need to develop transmission and distribution infrastructure to operationalize open access.
An open access consumer will be eligible to simultaneously draw power in the consumer mode along with drawing power in the open access mode.
In case of outages of generator supplying to open access customer under open access, backup power arrangements should be provided by the DISCOM for maximum period of 42 days in a year. The licensee will be entitled to collect tariffs under a temporary rate of charge for that consumer category.
Charges for open access
Transmission charge shall represent charges for conveyance of electricity through transmission lines and associated system of a transmission licensee and are to be recovered from transmission system. Transmission charges shall be expressed in Rs/MW/Month for long term open access and medium term open access . Charges for open access shall be in Rs/Kwh.
The wheeling charges will represent the charges for the use of the distribution system and associated facilities of a distribution licensee for conveyance of electricity through such distribution system. Rate of wheeling charges payable to the DISCOM shall be decided by commission in Rs/Kwh.
Deviation settlement charges
The open access customer 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 customers should pay a cross-subsidy surcharge as determined by the Commission in addition to the charges used for using the transmission and distribution systems.
The Commission will set the amount of such surcharge, keeping in view the projected admitted cost of the licensee for the relevant period.
Payment security mechanism
In the case of long-term open access and short-term open access, the applicant should open an irrecoverable letter in favor of the STU equal to the estimated amount of all applicable charges for two months.
Curtailment of power
According to the Grid Code, when a power transaction is canceled or curtailed, the short-term transaction is curtailed first, followed by the medium-term and long-term transactions.
The National Open Access Registry was just announced by the Ministry of Power. It is a single integrated electronic platform for the electronic processing of short-term open access applications that is accessible to all stakeholders, including open access participants, dealers, power exchanges, and national/regional/state load dispatch centers.