Consumers with Aggregate Demand of 100 kW Can Avail Green Energy Open Access
Additional surcharge will be waived for electricity from offshore wind projects until 2032
May 25, 2023
The Ministry of Power has amended the green energy open access rules to enable consumers with a total contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or above to avail green energy open access. This applies to consumers with single or multiple connections that add up to 100 kW or more within the same electricity division.
The Ministry had notified the Green Energy Open Access Rules 2022 in June last year and stated that consumers would be eligible for green energy open access if they have a contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or more. However, it did not clarify the number of connections allowed.
Captive consumers can use green energy open access without any load limitations.
The amendments will allow consumers with multiple small-capacity connections to avail the power under open access as far as it amounts to a minimum of 100 kW capacity.
They also specify that offshore wind projects commissioned by December 2032 and supplying electricity to open access consumers will be exempt from additional surcharges.
The ministry recently amended the rules to add provisions for the banking settlement cycle, introducing new charges and exempting offshore wind projects from paying additional surcharge. It also allowed consumers to purchase green energy based on their consumption.
The ministry has directed state electricity regulatory commissions to ensure compliance with the green energy open access rules and update their own open access regulations accordingly. This instruction follows the incomplete implementation of the green tariff rules in only a few states.
The ministry pointed out that in states where these rules have been implemented, the tariffs are much higher than the actual cost of procuring renewable energy, which goes against the regulations. The state electricity regulatory commissions must provide a report confirming compliance by May 28, 2023.
According to the 2022 Q4 & Annual Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report, the growth in the open access market was mainly driven by captive and group captive models. The third-party open access model has failed to take off in these states because of the high open access charges, which include cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge.
High landed costs in these states have been detrimental to the growth of third-party open access projects, adversely affecting smaller entities that need more cash reserves to opt for captive or group captive methods.