OERC notifies Green Energy Open Access Regulations

The Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has notified its draft Green Energy Open Access Regulations, 2023. This measure has been taken in line with Green Energy Open Access rules established by the Ministry of Power in June 2022. According to the notification, consumers who have a contract demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW and more will be able to purchase power from renewable sources through open access.

Additionally, captive consumers who receive power through the open access mechanism will not be subject to restrictions on the availability of power. The State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC) and the state transmission utility will serve as nodal agency in case of short-term and medium or long-term green energy open access, respectively. Furthermore, the union government will notify the central nodal agency to develop and run a single-window green energy open access mechanism for inter-state transmission system (ISTS).

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) will specify the charges for the use of ISTS. While the commission will approve any applicable transmission charges. For open access of long-term and medium-term, the charges will be in terms of Rs per MW, while for short-term, the charges will amount to Rs per kWh. Furthermore, the commission will approve wheeling charges, wheeling losses as well as cross-subsidy charges paid by the consumers who use open access green energy.  The wheeling charges for consumers will be imposed on the basis of actual wheeled energy which is calculated in Rs per kWh.

With respect to cross subsidy surcharge, consumers are required to make monthly payments based on the amount of energy used through open access during the month. The distribution companies (discom) from which the user was obtaining power prior to choosing open access, will receive the surcharge amount. In the event of the discom’s load shedding and power shortfall, the commission may set a reduced surcharge. The consumers obtaining green power from their own captive plant will not be subject to cross-subsidy surcharge.

Additionally, the standby charges will be applicable if the consumer is not able to procure power due to outages in transmission system or generator or both. However, no charges will be applicable if the user gives notice at least one day prior the day-ahead market close time. Some of the other charges that a user is required to pay to the commissions includes: scheduling charges, SLDC charges, and deviation settlement charges.

With the exception of consumers who use power for the generation of green hydrogen or green ammonia, the amount of energy that can be saved by a generator or consumer located inside the state is limited to 200 MW for all open access consumers. The banking facility is available to consumers who use renewable energy produced inside or outside the state to create green hydrogen or green ammonia. They are permitted to use a stored capacity up to 10 per cent of the energy generated by their renewable sources throughout the month or 200 MW of energy, whichever is less. While the banking charges for producing solar and wind hybrid is 10 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively of the energy stored. The consumers can purchase more clean energy in the steps of 25 per cent till 100 per cent than the set obligation. The request for purchasing the clean energy from the discom or Grid Corporation of Odisha should be at least for a year.