CERC Raises Block Bid Size to 100 MW for Power Generators in Exchanges

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has increased the maximum block bid size for all power generators, including those using renewable sources and participating in the day-ahead market (DAM) of power exchanges, except thermal, to 100 MW.

While Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Hindustan Power Exchange (HPX) had already raised the maximum block bid size to 100 MW, now the Power Exchange India’s (PXIL) maximum bid size also stands at 100 MW from 25 MW.

The maximum block bid size for thermal generators was raised to 400 MW from 100 MW, ensuring maximum generation capacity is available during high-demand periods.

The changes will be implemented on a trial basis for six months.

Currently, the Day Ahead Market at power exchanges offers single bids, block bids, linked bids, minimum quantity block bids, and profile block bids.

The order comes in the wake of rising power demand and requests from stakeholders, including the Ministry of Power and generating companies, to raise the block bid size limit. Large thermal power plants had said that the 100 MW cap was insufficient because at least 50% of their capacity is needed to operate at minimum turndown levels.

The maximum number of block bids a market participant can enter is restricted to 50.

The new limit applies to all variants of block bids, like linked bids, minimum quantity bids, and profile bids. Power exchanges have been directed to make necessary software changes, issue relevant circulars, and submit a compliance report within two weeks.

The CERC acknowledged some challenges associated with increasing the block bid size, such as paradoxical rejection of bids, under-utilization of transmission corridors, and potential reduction in economic surplus. To address these concerns, it has sought a report from the Grid Controller of India on the operational aspects and market performance with the revised specifications in three months.

After six months, power exchanges can decide to continue with the 400 MW block bid size based on stakeholder consultations and the Grid Controller’s feedback.

Earlier this year, CERC had directed the elimination of manual entries of bids and cancellation/modification of bids outside of trading hours, citing multiple violations.

Previously, it had ordered all power exchanges to redesign their bidding software to allow members to quote prices within a specified range for different types of contracts.

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