Maharashtra Proposes Green Energy Open Access for Consumers with 100 kW Load

Stakeholders can submit their feedback for the proposed draft until August 25, 2023

August 11, 2023


The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has proposed amendments to the Distributed Open Access Regulations, 2016, in line with the Ministry of Power’s Green Energy Open Access Rules.

According to the proposed amendments, consumers who possess a contract demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or greater or an entity that combines multiple connections amounting to 100 kW or more within the same electricity division of a distribution company (DISCOM) will have the opportunity to obtain power from renewable sources via open access.

Stakeholders have time until August 25, 2023, to submit their feedback for the proposed amendments.

Also, captive consumers obtaining power through the open access method under green energy open access will not be subjected to power supply limitations.

In scenarios where multiple connections are established before initiating the green energy open access, consumers must inform the DISCOM about the proportionate distribution of energy generated from renewable energy projects to each connection.

The green energy open access consumers should not change the quantum of power consumed through open access for at least twelve time blocks.

Also, consumers having rooftop renewable energy generating systems can simultaneously avail open access under these regulations.

In the case of short-term green energy open access, the Maharashtra State Load Despatch Centre, and in the case of medium or long-term green energy open access, the state transmission utility will perform the duties of the nodal agency.

Cross-Subsidy Surcharge

A new provision within the proposed amendments outlines that, for consumers adopting green energy open access and procuring renewable energy from a generating project, the cross-subsidy surcharge will not exceed 50% of the surcharge determined for the year in which the open access is authorized. This limitation will remain in effect for 12 years, commencing from the operational initiation of the generating project.

In the scenario where power is sourced from a renewable energy-based waste-to-energy project that does not rely on fossil fuels, the imposition of the cross-subsidy surcharge will be waived for the open access consumer.

The application of the cross-subsidy surcharge will be exempted if the procured green energy is employed in producing green hydrogen and green ammonia.

Additional Surcharge

Additional surcharge will not be applicable if power produced from a non-fossil fuel-based waste-to-energy project is supplied to the open access consumer or the green energy is utilized to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia.

It will also not apply to electricity produced from offshore wind projects, which are to be commissioned up to December 2032.

Another proposed amendment states that green energy open access with contract demand lower than 1 MW will be allowed based on the Time of Day (ToD) meter.

Banking charges will be adjusted at 8% of the energy banked, and the unutilized surplus banked energy will be considered as lapsed at the end of each banking cycle.

Recently, the MERC, in a ruling, allowed Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation to procure power through open access from a waste-to-energy plant developed by Antony Lara Renewable Energy without cross-subsidy and additional surcharges.

In May this year, 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.

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