Telangana Issues Draft Intrastate Open Access Regulations

The Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) has issued the draft Intrastate Open Access Regulations 2023, allowing consumers with a contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or higher to avail of green energy open access.

The permissible sanctioned load can be through a single connection or via multiple connections aggregating 100 kW or more within the same electricity division of the distribution company (DISCOM).

There will be no restriction on the quantity of power supplied to captive consumers availing power through green energy open access.

The proposed regulations will apply to open access consumers using intrastate transmission or distribution systems.

The state proposed to allow consumers with a contracted capacity of above 1 MW to avail of open access.

The proposed regulations have further outlined categorization, charges, banking, and verification procedures.

For all long-term and medium-term open access transactions, the state transmission utility (STU) will be appointed as the nodal agency; for short-term transactions, it will be the state load despatch Center (SLDC).

Categorization of Open Access Consumers

Open Access Charges

Open access customers connected to either the transmission or distribution network will be responsible for covering the transmission charges, wheeling charges, and any other relevant fees established by the Commission.

If an open access user utilizes both the interstate transmission system (ISTS) and the intrastate transmission system, they will be required to pay transmission charges and wheeling charges for using the intrastate system, in addition to the charges for utilizing the ISTS.

Cross-Subsidy Surcharge

According to the proposed regulations, the cross-subsidy surcharge for green energy open access consumers for 12 years from the project commissioning will be capped at 50% of the surcharge determined for the first year.

The cross-subsidy surcharge will not apply if the power is supplied from a waste-to-energy project and when the green energy is used to produce green hydrogen and ammonia. No surcharge will be imposed if open access is granted to a captive user for transporting electricity generated from a captive generating project for their own consumption.

Additional Surcharge

The new rules propose that the additional surcharge would not apply to a green energy open access consumer if such a consumer is paying fixed charges.

Also, no additional surcharge will be imposed if the open access consumer receives power from a waste-to-energy project. Similarly, there will be no additional surcharge when green energy is employed to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.

The additional surcharge will not be levied when electricity from offshore wind projects, commissioned up to December 2032, is supplied to open access consumers.

Should the DISCOM need to construct an electrical plant or electrical line to extend power supply to an open access user, they may recover such expenses as per the Licensee’s Duty for Supply of Electricity on Request Regulation of 2004.

Scheduling and Standby Charges

All open access users will be responsible for paying scheduling and system operation charges as mandated by the SLDC. Standby charges, specified by the state Commission, will not apply if green energy open access consumers provide advance notice at least 24 hours before the scheduled power delivery time for standby arrangements to the DISCOM.

Banking

Banking for green energy open access consumers will be allowed on a monthly basis at 8% of the energy banked.

The permitted banked energy by the green energy open access consumers must be at least 30% of the total monthly consumption of electricity from the DISCOM by the consumers.

The banking settlement period will be a calendar month; any unutilized energy will be considered lapsed at the end of the month. The green energy open access consumers will be entitled to renewable energy certificates (RECs) to that extent.

Also, the credit for energy banked during the month will be adjusted during the same month as per the energy injected in the respective Time of Day (TOD) slots determined by the Commission. The energy banked during peak TOD slots will be permitted to draw power during peak as well as off-peak TOD slots by paying the banking charges.

The transmission charges & losses and wheeling charges & losses will be levied only once on the energy banked.

Verification of Captive Projects and Users

Each year, the DISCOM, located in the same area as the captive generating project or captive user, will conduct an annual verification of the status of captive generating projects and users in relation to consumption and equity shareholding.

The DISCOM must furnish the status report to the Commission no later than April 30 of each year.

Underutilization of Capacity 

In situations where the contracted capacity by the open access user is underutilized, and if that unused capacity could meet the needs of other applicants, the respective DISCOM may submit an application to the nodal agency requesting a reduction or cancellation of the capacity allocated to the open access user.

In the event of the user’s surrender of whole or part of contracted capacity, the user will have to pay compensatory charges to the licensees concerned as follows:

Scheduling

Every open access generator, scheduled consumer, and open access consumer is required to submit a wheeling schedule for each 15-minute time block covering a full day. This schedule should be provided on a day-ahead basis, no later than 10 am the day before the first time block for which energy wheeling is scheduled.

In cases where an open access generator, scheduled consumer, or open access consumer needs to transport electricity from multiple generating stations, each having different entry points with separate metering, they must submit distinct wheeling schedules for each entry point associated with each generating station.

However, solar, wind-based, or mini-hydel open access generators with contracted capacities of up to 5 MW are exempt from the requirement of providing a day-ahead wheeling schedule. The actual electricity injected by these generators will be considered the scheduled energy.

Settlement of Energy

The scheduled energy (measured in kWh) at the exit point for each time block will be calculated by multiplying the scheduled capacity (in kW) at the exit point by the duration of the time block in hours.

The calculation of scheduled demand at the exit point involves dividing the scheduled capacity (in kW) at the exit point by the power factor specific to the time block. For this purpose, the power factor is defined as the recorded kWh divided by kVAh.

The energy scheduled for a consumer from an open access generator during each time block will be subtracted from the recorded energy as an initial charge. The remaining energy will be considered supplied by the DISCOM and will be subject to payment according to the terms of the supply agreement with the DISCOM.

Settlement of Energy for Open Access Consumers

The anticipated energy consumption at the exit point of an open access consumer will be computed based on the scheduled capacity provided by an open access generator at that specific exit point for each time block.

When an open access consumer receives supply from multiple open access generators, the cumulative energy and demand recorded will be considered as being utilized by the respective open access generators.

Any surplus energy recorded at the exit point during any given time block, in comparison to the scheduled energy or the actual energy available at that location (whichever is lower), will be considered as utilized either by the generator or the open access consumer, depending on the party that has a contract for open access capacity from the DISCOM. This surplus energy will be subject to payment by the responsible party based on the energy tariff applicable to the same consumer category within the DISCOM to which the open access consumer typically belongs.

The scheduled demand at the exit point, or the actual demand made accessible to a consumer by each open access generator at that exit point during a time block (whichever is lower), will be subtracted from the recorded demand.

Settlement of Open Access Generators

Any surplus energy and demand required by scheduled consumers due to the generator’s shortfall in each time block will be considered sourced from the DISCOM.

If an open access consumer requires additional energy and demand due to the generator’s under-generation during a time block, it will be considered consumed by either the generator or the open access consumer, depending on their open access capacity contract. The responsible party will be required to pay based on the standard energy tariff and twice the demand charges applicable to the same consumer category to which the open access consumer typically belongs.

Any surplus injection of energy by an open access generator beyond the scheduled capacity at the entry point will not be considered.

For solar, wind, and mini-hydel generators with a contracted capacity of up to 5 MW, the actual generation during the month will be considered as the scheduled energy for settlement purposes, both for scheduled and open access consumers receiving supply from these open access generators.

In May this year, TSERC approved a reduced additional surcharge of ₹0.39 (~$0.0047)/kWh for open access consumers who avail power from any source other than the DISCOMs of the state.

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