MERC clarifies the terms for granting open access for solar

The MERC has issued a clarification on terms for granting open access for solar power projects in the state. According MERC, the nodal agency will grant medium-term open access (MTOA) or short-term open access (STOA) only if the resultant power flow can be accommodated in the existing distribution system.

 

The clarification came in response to a petition filed by Roha Dyechem Private Limited (RDPL) seeking MERC’s directions to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) regarding the terms of open access permissions.

RDPL has set up a combined capacity of 15 MW in a solar park located in Maharastra’s Kola district. Of this, the company had planned to use 10 MW capacity for self-use at its Mumbai plant. To this end, RDPL had submitted its open access application to MSEDCL which was rejected due to excessive resultant power flow.

MSEDCL had then requested RDPL to confirm an STOA demand or a contract demand to be processed so that the resultant power flow could be accommodated into the existing distribution system. However, RDPL was unable to submit the compliance as requested by MSEDCL within the stipulated period. RDPL then requested MSEDCL to consider the allotment of open access for 5 MW for a one month period, which was granted by MSEDCL. RDPL resubmitted its application for STOA of 10 MW to MSEDCL which was again rejected. The MERC has directed MSEDCL to examine the issue afresh in a holistic manner, considering all provisions and metering infrastructure and to inform RDPL accordingly.

In June 2018, MERC had also clarified that generators could not use both open access and net metering simultaneously, and that net-metering provisions were are limited to rooftop solar installations with capacities up to 1 MW only.

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