Gujarat Regulator Proposes Green Energy Open Access Regulations
The regulations include banking and other open access charges
The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has issued the draft Terms and Conditions for Green Energy Open Access Regulations 2023 to include rules for banking and other open access charges applicable for clean energy open access consumers.
The regulations will be applicable for power generated through the open access model from green energy sources, including the energy from non-fossil fuel-based municipal solid waste-to-energy projects.
The draft proposal comes days after the Ministry of Power instructed state electricity regulatory commissions to comply with the Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules and align their states’ Open Access Regulations with the notified rules.
The Gujarat State Load Despatch Center will be designated as the state nodal agency for the grant of short-term green energy open access, and the state transmission utility will act as the state nodal agency for the grant of long-term green energy open access and medium-term green energy open access.
The green energy open access consumers will be classified into the following categories:
- Long-term green energy open access: Consumers will have the right to use the intrastate transmission system or the distribution system for a period exceeding 12 years but not exceeding 25 years.
- Medium-term green energy open access: Consumers will have the right to use an intrastate transmission system or distribution system for a period exceeding three months but not exceeding three years.
- Short-term green energy open access: Consumers can procure power through open access for one month at a time.
Distribution companies (DISCOMs) will have the highest priority over other green energy open consumers.
Green energy open access consumers will have a preference over normal open access consumers.
Long-term green energy open access consumers will have a preference over medium-term and short-term green energy open access consumers.
Any entity that has constructed a captive generating project will have the right to open access.
The consumers who have rooftop solar projects up to 1 MW in their premises under net-metering for captive use will be exempted from providing the details of equity holding and energy consumption to fulfill the criteria for captive generating projects with the DISCOM.
Also, consumers (except captive consumers) with a sanctioned load of 100 kW and above will be eligible for open access for sourcing green energy under these regulations.
Procedure for Grant of Green Energy Open Access
The new draft proposed the applicants pay a non-refundable processing fee of ₹50,000 (~$609.81) for the long-term, ₹25,000 (~$304.91) for the medium-term and ₹5,000 (~$60.98) for short-term green energy open access to the state nodal agency.
To prevent unnecessary congestion in the energy corridor, green energy projects applying for long-term open access and wheeling agreements must complete their commissioning within 24 months from the date of application submission. Failure to do so would result in the cancellation of the granted green energy open access.
The new regulations extend the banking facility for the consumers availing green energy open access. The permitted quantum of banked energy by the green energy open access consumers will be at least 30% of the total monthly consumption of electricity from the DISCOM by the consumers.
The unutilized surplus banked energy will be considered as lapsed at the end of each banking cycle, and the renewable energy generating station will be entitled to get renewable energy certificates (RECs) to the extent of the lapsed banked energy.
Green energy open access consumers will have to pay transmission charges for the use of interstate transmission system (ISTS) as determined by the Commission from time to time.
Whereas the intrastate transmission charges for long-term, medium-term, and short-term open access will be determined as per the prevailing provisions of the GERC Multi Year Tariff (MYT) Regulations from time to time.
Wheeling charges payable to DISCOMs by the green energy open access consumer will be determined by the Commission in the tariff orders issued from time to time.
In addition to wheeling charges, the wheeling loss will apply to consumers or generators on a case-to-case basis, as determined by the Commission.
The green energy open access consumer will be required to pay a cross-subsidy surcharge as provided in the relevant tariff order issued by the Commission. The cross-subsidy surcharge will be payable on a billing cycle basis, calculated according to the actual energy consumed during the billing period.
The cross-subsidy surcharge for consumers purchasing green energy will not be increased, during 12 years from the date of the commercial operation of the generating project using renewable energy sources, by more than 50% of the surcharge fixed for the year in which open access is granted.
If power generated from a municipal solid waste-to-energy project is supplied to an open access consumer, the cross-subsidy surcharge will not be applicable.
The cross-subsidy surcharge will be waived if green energy obtained through open access is used to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.
The additional surcharge will not apply to green energy open access consumers if such consumers pay the fixed charge to DISCOM for the quantum of green energy availed within the sanctioned load.
If the green energy availed by the consumer is more than the sanctioned load, and the consumer is paying no fixed charge, then an additional surcharge, as approved by the Commission, will be applicable for the additional quantum availed.
There will be no additional surcharge for captive power projects, and the green energy is used to produce green hydrogen and ammonia.
If a green energy open access consumer cannot obtain power from the agreed-upon generating sources, a standby arrangement will be made available to the consumer by the DISCOM.
The DISCOM will have the right to collect standby charges, amounting to 25% of the energy charges applicable to the consumer’s tariff category. These charges will align with the prevailing rate schedule specified in the relevant tariff order approved by the Commission.
The green energy open access consumers will be required to pay ₹2,000 (~$24.39)/MW/day basis scheduling charges to the SLDC or as decided by the Commission.
Deviation Settlement Charges
The consumers procuring power from renewable generators (wind and solar) will be governed by the Forecasting, Scheduling, Deviation Settlement, and Related Matters of Solar and Wind Generation Sources Regulations, 2019. At the same time, other renewable energy technology-based generators will be governed by the provision of relevant technology-based tariffs determined by the Commission.
Reactive Energy Charge
The payment for the reactive energy charges will be per the provisions stipulated in the tariff orders passed by the Commission from time to time. If the green energy open access consumer is procuring power from a DISCOM and simultaneously wheeling the power from a green energy supplier, in that case, the reactive energy charge will be as per the applicable tariff orders for the relevant class of consumers.
Procedure for Applying for Day-ahead Green Energy Open Access Transactions
For the applications received by the state nodal agency before 13:00 hours of the day immediately preceding the day of scheduling for day-ahead green energy open access transaction, the state nodal agency will check for congestion in the system and grant approval no later than 15:00 hours.
The applicant will have to pay a fee of ₹5,000 (~$60.95) for each transaction to the state nodal agency.
For green energy open access carried out under interstate transactions, energy accounting will follow the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) regulations.
However, if a generator is connected to the state grid and sells power outside the state, the energy accounting for settling deviations will be determined based on either the reference charge rate or the normal rate of charges for deviation, whichever is greater.
The generator will be required to pay the deviation charges for intrastate transactions according to the regulations outlined in the Forecasting and Scheduling and Related Matters for Solar and Wind Generation Sources Regulations of 2019.
However, green energy projects (other than solar, wind, and wind-solar hybrid) commissioned under the respective tariff orders approved by the Commission and currently operational will be governed by the provisions stated in the relevant orders issued by the Commission.
Recently, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission amended its intra-state open access regulations according to the center’s Green Energy Open Access Rules to encourage open access installations in the state.
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