CERC Directs DISCOMs to Promptly Requisition Power Needs as Demand Gallops

SLDCs must advise drawal schedules to respective RLDCs by 10 AM, a day in advance


In response to a significant surge in power demand and subsequent reports of load-shedding incidents, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has taken a series of strategic measures to mitigate the current power shortage and enhance the grid’s efficiency.

During a high demand period, specifically on August 11, 2023, states across the grid reportedly experienced load shedding of approximately 6-7 GW. These incidents occurred despite the availability of substantial generation capacity, including 3 GW from reserve shutdown units and operational units. This capacity was not even offered for sale in the market, raising concerns about the grid’s optimal operation and power supply.

The Ministry of Power introduced the Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and Related Matters) Rules, 2022, in June last year. According to these rules, distribution licensees are required to inform generating companies about their power requisition schedules for each day. Failure to do so on time allows generating companies to sell the unrequisitioned power on the power exchange.

Underlining the importance of effective communication, the LPS Rules stipulate that distribution licensees must communicate their power requisition schedules to generating companies at least two hours before the closing time for placing proposals or bids in the day-ahead market. This proactive approach aims to prevent unnecessary load shedding by optimally using available generation capacity.

Additionally, the Commission has taken a decisive step by notifying the Indian Electricity Grid Code Regulations, 2023 (Grid Code 2023), scheduled to take effect from October 1, 2023.

The directive also highlighted key aspects of the existing Grid Code 2010. It includes provisions related to the consent required for power sale by inter-state generating stations (ISGS) in the day-ahead market. ISGS, whose tariff is determined by the Commission under section 62 of the Act, can sell power from their original beneficiaries’ share with the consent of these beneficiaries.

However, the document underscores that the original beneficiary cannot reschedule the sold power in the day-ahead market, aiming to maintain stability and predictability in power scheduling.

The Commission has also issued specific directives to address the current power shortage and promote optimal grid management. The directives include:

  • State Load Dispatch Centers (SLDCs) must advise drawal schedules to the respective Regional Load Dispatch Centers (RLDCs) by 10 AM on a day-ahead basis.
  • RLDCs must communicate ex-power plant dispatch schedules to ISGS by 10:30 AM on a day-ahead basis.
  • ISGS is being allowed to sell unrequisitioned power after SLDCs provide drawal schedules.
  • A prohibition on rescheduling power sold by ISGS in the day-ahead market by the original beneficiaries.
  • Gains from the sale of unrequisitioned power are to be shared based on the LPS Rules.

These directives will be effective until the implementation of the Grid Code 2023. The regulatory body has urged widespread dissemination of these directives to ensure all stakeholders are informed and can take action to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.

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