MERC Proposes Draft Regulations for Green Energy Open Access in Maharashtra

Representational image. Credit: Canva

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has unveiled its draft regulations for Green Energy Open Access (GEOA) in the state of Maharashtra. This move aims to align the existing MERC (Distribution Open Access) Regulations of 2016 with the GEOA Rules, which were recently notified by the Ministry of Power in June 2022.


Key amendments in the proposed regulations include:

Eligibility: Consumers with a Contract Demand or Sanctioned Load of 100 kW or more are eligible for GEOA. Furthermore, entities with multiple connections totaling 100 kW or more within the same electricity division of a Distribution Licensee can also benefit from GEOA.


Maximum Limit: Captive consumers utilizing GEOA for power supply will face no limit on power consumption. Additionally, open access consumers procuring power from renewable energy generators will not be restricted by capacity limits up to their Contract Demand or Sanctioned Load.

Net Metering: Consumers equipped with Roof Top Renewable Energy Generating Systems can now simultaneously access GEOA. The adjustment of solar generation credit on a Gross metering basis during concurrent open access usage has been reworded to allow clients to enjoy Net Metering and Open Access concurrently.

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Central Nodal Agency: The Maharashtra State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) will oversee Short-Term GEOA, while the State Transmission Utility will manage Medium/Long-Term GEOA.

Cross Subsidy Surcharge: For the first twelve years following operation, the surcharge will not exceed 50% of the year’s fixed surcharge for granted open access. Exemptions from this surcharge apply when green energy is employed for producing green hydrogen/ammonia.

Additional Surcharge: This surcharge, applicable to consumers availing open access from a non-Distribution Licensee source, is waived for those using power for green hydrogen/ammonia production or sourcing from Waste to Fuel/Offshore wind projects.

Metering: Consumers with a sanctioned load below 1 MW fall within the LT category and can avail GEOA using Time of Day (ToD) meters, without the requirement of Special Energy Meters.

Banking: Banking charges, now adjusted at 8% of the banked energy, have increased from the previous 2% under the 2016 Regulations. Surplus banked energy lapses at the end of each banking cycle, enabling RE generating stations to receive Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the lapsed energy.

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These proposed regulations are set to enhance the accessibility of green energy options for consumers and promote sustainable energy usage across Maharashtra. The public and stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on these draft regulations before they are finalized.

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