West Bengal Proposes New Open Access Power Project Regulation

The draught ‘Open Access Regulations, 2022’ has been released by the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC).

Stakeholders have till June 2, 2022, to offer their thoughts and criticisms.

The rules will apply to any type of open access for using an intrastate transmission or distribution system in conjunction with interstate transmission lines.

Nodal agency

The state transmission utility will be the nodal body for organizing long-term and medium-term open access. The nodal agency for short-term open access will be the state load dispatch center (SLDC).

Eligibility

Anyone wishing to use open access should already be linked to the transmission or distribution licensee with whose system they are connected.

For long-term open-access, the applicant must submit a connectivity application together with the long-term open-access application.

An open-access consumer with more than a month’s worth of overdue dues from any transmission or distribution licensee against billing will be denied access.

Allotment priority

Long-term customers will be given preference over medium-term and short-term consumers when it comes to open access.

Procedure for granting long-term open access

Long-term open access will be granted if a person applies for it through the interstate transmission system (ISTS), with a portion of the application including the intrastate transmission system.

An application for long-term open access must be submitted at least three years before the date for which long-term open access is desired.

Procedure for granting medium-term open access

If a person applies for medium-term open access to the ISTS and a portion of the application involves the intrastate transmission system or the distribution system within the Commission’s jurisdiction, the application will be considered for medium-term open access.

The application for medium-term open-access should be submitted no sooner than five months and no later than two years from the last day of the month in which it is submitted.

Procedure for granting short-term open access

If a person applies for short-term open access to the ISTS and a portion of the application involves the intrastate transmission system or distribution system within the Commission’s control, the application will be considered for short-term open access.

The application for short-term open access should be filed up to the fourth month, with the month in which the application is submitted being considered the first month.

Procedure for granting open access through power exchanges

The CERC regulations should be followed when it comes to open access through power exchanges. When the National Open Access Registry receives applications for short-term open access from power exchanges, SLDC will award the applicant a no-objection based on capacity availability.

Open access agreements

An applicant who has been granted long- and medium-term open-access shall sign an open access agreement with the STU, or a tripartite arrangement with the STU and the relevant transmission or distribution licensee.

The agreement should specify if transmission and distribution infrastructure development is required to make open access operational.

An open-access consumer will be able to draw power both in the consumer mode and in the open-access mode at the same time.

Backup power

The distribution licensee must offer backup power for a maximum of 42 days per year in the event of generator outages supplying power to open access consumers. The licensee will be able to collect tariffs for that customer group at a temporary rate of charge.

Under-utilization of open access capacity

The SLDC may restrict or cancel a customer’s open access capacity if the capacity is often underutilized. The unutilized capacity of an open-access customer cannot be transferred to another user.

Charges for open access

Transmission charges

Long-term open access and medium-term open access transmission tariffs will be indicated in /MW/month. Short-term open access prices will be represented in /kWh.

The Commission will calculate the transmission licensee’s yearly fixed cost in the tariff order by tariff regulations, as well as the transmission costs for long-term and medium-term open access in terms of MW/month.

Transportation fees

The rate of wheeling charges payable to the distribution licensee in /kWh will be determined by the Commission. Wheeling charges for short-term open access clients will be calculated based on the amount of energy consumed in kWh during the open access period.

Charges for settling deviations

The open-access customer will submit a 24-hour day-ahead schedule to the SLDC, as defined in the Grid Code or tariff regulations, for both draw and injection of active power on a time-block basis. The DSM regulations require that deviation settlement charges be paid.

Surcharge for cross-subsidies

In addition to the rates for using the transmission and distribution systems, open access consumers shall pay a cross-subsidy surcharge imposed by the Commission.

The Commission will determine the amount of the surcharge based on the licensee’s estimated acknowledged costs for the relevant period.

Surcharge in addition

The additional price will be determined by the Commission and will apply only if the distribution licensee can show that it should cover the fixed costs associated with any quantity contracted by the distribution licensee to provide connectivity to the open-access customer.

The mechanism for payment security

The applicant should open an irrecoverable letter in favor of the STU equivalent to the expected amount of all applicable costs for two months in the event of long-term open access and short-term open-access.

Metering

At all interconnecting points, the open-access customer must install ABT-compliant meters. The meters will be installed at the injection and draw points, as well as any linking points if necessary.

Limitation of power

According to the Grid Code, when a power transaction is canceled or curtailed, the short-term transaction is curtailed first, followed by the medium-term and long-term transactions.

The National Open Access Registry was just announced by the Ministry of Power. It is a single integrated electronic platform for the electronic processing of short-term open access applications that is accessible to all stakeholders, including open access participants, dealers, power exchanges, and national/regional/state load dispatch centers.

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Resource: Mercom India

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