Government Amends Green Energy Open Access Rules to Align with Regulations

It amended the banking settlement period from monthly to a banking cycle


The Ministry of Power (MoP) has issued the Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Amendment Rules, 2023, under which it has added provisions for the banking settlement cycle, introduced new charges, and exempted offshore wind projects from paying additional surcharge.

Additionally, it also allowed consumers to purchase green energy based on their consumption.

Most of the changes are intended to align the existing rules with newly approved regulations and provide flexibility to the consumer to promote renewable energy open access.

The amendments were notified on January 27, 2023, and came into effect on the same day.

The ministry had notified the Green Energy Open Access Rules 2022 in June last year.

The amended rules have changed the term related to banking from ‘month’ to ‘cycle,’ which further provides flexibility to states with different banking settlement periods and would be crucial to renewable energy generators.

However, the states would have to wait until the ministry comes out with a definition for the term ‘cycle’ notified in the new amended rules.

The notification clarified that the credit for banked energy will not be allowed to be carried forward to subsequent banking cycles and must be adjusted during the same cycle.

Any surplus banked energy will be considered lapsed at the end of each banking cycle. The renewable energy generator will be entitled to Renewable Energy Certificates for the lapsed banked energy.

The amendments also revise the charges levied on Green Energy Open Access, adding banking and standby charges wherever applicable. It also includes Load Despatch Centre fees, scheduling charges, and deviation settlement charges per the Commission’s relevant regulations.

The new rules exempt non-fossil fuel-based ‘Waste-to-Energy’ projects which supply to open access consumers from additional surcharge along with cross subsidy surcharge, which was previously notified.

Offshore wind projects commissioned up to December 2025 and supplying to open access consumers will be exempted from paying the additional surcharge.

The new provision substitutes older rules which exempted green energy utilized to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.

The green open access consumers will have to pay standby charges wherever applicable and specified by the state regulators. The standby charges should not exceed 25% of the energy charges applicable to the consumer tariff category.

The consumers who provide a notice at least a day before delivery of power for standby arrangement to the distribution licensee before the Day Ahead Market closure time will be exempted from such charges.

The new rules state that any consumer can purchase green energy up to a certain percentage of the consumption or its total consumption. They can place a requisition for this with their distribution licensee, who will procure the requested green energy capacity and supply it to them. The consumers will also have the flexibility to give separate requests for solar and non-solar.

In a recent ruling, the MERC turned down an individual consumer petition requesting certain crucial amendments to rooftop solar and green energy open access regulations.

According to the Mercom India Solar Open Access Market Report Q3 2022, India installed around 1.9 GW of open access solar capacity in the first nine months (9M) of the calendar year (CY) 2022, an increase of 96% year-over-year (YoY).