Karnataka Proposes Changes to the Procedures for Granting Open Access Power

The changes aim to align the regulations with the green energy open access rules


The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has released the draft of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Open Access) (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2023.

These proposed amendments aim to align with Karnataka’s draft Green Energy Open Access Regulations released last August.

Stakeholders can submit their comments and suggestions within 30 days.

The amendments clarify that short-term and medium-term open access can be granted if accommodated within inherent design margins, power flow variations, and available transmission and distribution system capacities.

Under the proposed changes, open-access customers are categorized into short-term, medium-term, or long-term based on their duration of use of the intra-state transmission and/or distribution system.

Open access customers are categorized based on the duration they utilize the intra-state transmission and/or distribution system. The categories are as follows:

(a) Short-term open access customers: These are individuals or entities who use or plan to use open access for one year or less.

(b) Medium-term open access customers: These are individuals or entities who use or plan to use open access for more than one year but less than five years.

(c) Long-term open access customers: These are individuals or entities who use or plan to use open access for a period equal to or more than five years.

The priority for allowing open access will be decided on the following criteria:

  • Distribution licensee for long term
  • Other open access customers for long term
  • Distribution licensee for medium term
  • Other open access customers for medium term
  • Distribution licensee for short term
  • Other open access customers for short term

Procedure for grant of Open Access for Day-Ahead Transactions:

  • Application Submission Deadline: The application for day-ahead open access must be submitted to the nodal agency within three days before the scheduled date but not later than 13:00 hours on the day immediately preceding the day of the schedule.
  • Application Details: The application submitted to the nodal agency should include details such as the required capacity, planned generation or contracted power purchase, injection, and drawal points, duration of open access, peak load, average load, and an undertaking stating that there is no existing power purchase agreement for the requested capacity.
  • Application Fee: The application must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of ₹1,000 (~$12) for each transaction. This fee can be paid in cash, through a demand draft, or via an electronic transfer to the nodal agency.
  • Grant of Approval: The nodal agency will check for system congestion and communicate the approval or denial of open access to the applicant before 15:00 hours on the day immediately preceding the day of scheduling. However, the actual operationalization of open access is subject to the payment of charges specified in the regulations and orders by the Commission before 17:00 hours on the same day.
  • Denial of Open Access: The nodal agency must provide reasons if open access to denied to the applicant.

Procedure for grant of Open Access for other transactions:

  • Application Submission: An intending open access customer must apply electronically with all the required particulars. The application should be submitted in the specified format, which the nodal agency determines.
  • Required Documents: The application should be accompanied by the following documents:
    1. An undertaking stating that the generator has not entered into a PPA or any other bilateral agreement for the capacity (quantum of power) for which open access is sought.
    2. Payment of a non-refundable processing fee of ₹5,000 (~$60) for long-term/medium-term open access and ₹1,000 (~$12) for short-term open access.
  • Application Timing: For short-term open access, the application cannot be made earlier than two months before the power plant(s) commissioning date or its/their generating units to avoid corridor blocking.
  • Bank Guarantee (BG): For long-term/medium-term open access, the application should be accompanied by a Bank Guarantee (BG) of ten thousand rupees per MW. The BG should be kept valid and subsisting until the signing of the agreement for the wheeling of electricity. The nodal agency will encash the BG if the application is withdrawn before signing the agreement. Once the deal is signed, the BG will be returned to the applicant.
  • System Availability Assessment: The nodal agency will forward the application to the concerned licensees (ESCOMs for the drawal point and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation and ESCOMs for the injection point) within two working days to ascertain the system availability. The concerned licensees will acknowledge the receipt of the application within the following working day.
  • Grant of Open Access: After assessing the system availability, the concerned licensees will communicate their concurrence or otherwise to the nodal agency within the specified time schedule. The agency will then communicate the grant of open access or otherwise to the applicant within three working days following the receipt of concurrence from all the licensees concerned.
  • Deemed Approval: If there is no communication from the agency within the specified time schedule, the open access applied for will be deemed to have been granted, subject to system availability.
  • Agreement for Wheeling: The open access customer must execute the agreement for the wheeling of electricity in triplicate and submit it to the nodal agency, as well as the concerned licensees, within five working days from the date of the communication of the grant or deemed grant of open access. Failure to submit the agreement within this timeframe will result in the cancellation of the granted or deemed granted open access.

System studies are waived for existing generators injecting power into the licensee’s network under a power purchase agreement or similar arrangement, provided there is no additional injection beyond the previous capacity. Similarly, consumers availing of open access are exempt from system studies if they commit to not exceeding their contract demand specified in the supply agreement with the licensee.

New generating plants seeking long–term open access and agreeing to wheeling must commission them within twelve months from the effective date of the wheeling operation, failing which the open access granted will be deemed to have been canceled.

In case of outages of generators supplying to a consumer on open access, the licensee should provide standby arrangements on payment of 125% of energy charges applicable to that consumer category as determined by the Commission in its tariff orders.

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