The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has issued important clarifications and practice directions regarding the Connectivity and General Network Access (GNA) to the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) Regulations of 2022. These regulations, commonly referred to as the GNA Regulations, were initially notified on June 7, 2022, with the first amendment announced on April 1, 2023. The provisions of these regulations officially came into effect on April 5, 2023, with certain exceptions. The remaining provisions are scheduled to be enforced from October 1, 2023.
The CERC, in response to petitions and requests for clarification from stakeholders, has taken significant steps to ensure the smooth implementation of the GNA Regulations. Here, we provide an overview of the key issues addressed by the CERC in its recent orders.
Issue 1: GNA for Indian Railways at ISTS Points
One of the major issues raised pertains to the General Network Access (GNA) granted to Indian Railways for power drawl at the ISTS interface of Allahabad (Naini). It was brought to the CERC’s attention that Railways in the Northern Region (NR) is drawing power not only at Auraiya and Dadri, as previously granted, but also at Allahabad (Naini). Additionally, North Central Railway (NCR) is drawing power from Abdullapur substation in NR. In response, the CERC has clarified that Railways can utilize its GNA quantum of 130 MW at Dadri, Auraiya, Naini, or Abdullapur as needed. It also emphasized that Railways can apply for additional GNA if required under the GNA Regulations.
Issue 2: Treatment of Land Bank Guarantees (BGs)
Concerns were raised regarding the treatment of Bank Guarantees (BGs) submitted by entities in the event of the closure of connectivity applications due to non-submission of applicable Conn-BGs. The CERC has clarified that in such cases, the Bank Guarantee of ₹10 lakh per MW submitted instead of land documents will be returned within one month from the closing of the connectivity application.
Issue 3: Payment of Transmission Charges for T-GNA
Grid-India highlighted issues related to the payment of transmission charges for Temporary General Network Access (T-GNA) under both advanced and essential application categories. The existing software was configured to take payment within three working days from the date of T-GNA approval. Grid-India requested the continuation of this practice until software changes could be implemented. In response, the CERC allowed a transition period during which payment could be made within three working days of approval for T-GNA starting within the next three working days. Software changes were recommended for future compliance with the GNA Regulations.
Issue 4: Extension of Timeline for STUs
The CERC considered a request to extend the timeline for State Transmission Utilities (STUs) to apply for additional GNA under Regulation 19.1 of the GNA Regulations. STUs were initially required to apply within three months of the regulations coming into force, but some applications were received after this deadline. The CERC decided to extend the application period until December 31, 2023, allowing STUs more time to apply for additional GNA.
In conclusion, the CERC’s recent clarifications and practice directions aim to streamline the implementation of the GNA Regulations and address the challenges faced by stakeholders. These measures will contribute to the effective functioning of the inter-State transmission system and promote transparency and efficiency in the power sector.
Please read the document below for more details.