APERC notifies draft regulations for green energy open access

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has released its draft green energy open access, charges and banking regulations, 2023. The rule pertains to providing unrestricted availability of electricity produced from renewable energy sources for use within the state, which includes both intra-state transmission systems (ISTS) and the distribution systems of authorised organisations. Additionally, it encompasses those ISTS and distribution systems that are connected to the interstate transmission of electricity. The draft regulation has been planned to be completed 21 days following September 30, 2023.

The conditions for permitting green energy open access consist of the following: For long-term open access, it must conform to the planning criteria outlined in the state grid code. While short-term and medium-term open access can be authorised as long as it falls within the system’s capacity limits. This includes considering available design margins, adaptability for power distribution, and maintaining spare capacity for potential future expansion. In matters of connectivity and general access, green energy open access consumers will be given precedence over fossil-based open access consumers. This preference also applies in scenarios where there are constraints within the system or limited transmission/distribution system capacity when granting connectivity or open access.

The Andhra Pradesh State Load Despatch Centre (APSLDC) has been designated to function as the state nodal agency for short-term green energy open access. On the other hand, the state transmission utility will assume the role of the nodal agency for granting long-term and medium-term green energy open access.

With regard to charges, the transmission and wheeling charges will be determined by the commission in accordance with APERC rules, 2005, and its following changes. Furthermore, the commission will set the SLDC fees and charges in line with APERC 2006 regulations, and its subsequent amendments. The long-term and medium-term processing fee will be Rs 100,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively, with short term fee set by the commission. For both demand and energy within the consumer category, 120 per cent of the normal tariff will be set as standby charges.

Only wind, solar, and mini hydel power generators are eligible to use the energy banking facility, provided they adhere to the following terms: Energy banking will take place on a monthly billing cycle, and any banked energy must be consumed within the same billing cycle. A banking fee equivalent to 8 per cent of the banked energy will be applied as banking charges at the consumer’s end. Furthermore, green energy open access consumers have the option to bank up to 30 per cent of their monthly electricity consumption from the distribution licensee. Energy banking and withdrawal are permitted at any point during the billing cycle. Furthermore, withdrawing energy during peak load hours is not allowed when restriction and control measures are in place. The calculation of monthly energy banking will be based on daily accounting. In times of transmission or distribution system constraints, initially, short-term open-access consumers are subject to curtailment, followed by medium-term open-access consumers, and finally, long-term open-access consumers are curtailed. This process of curtailment excludes green energy open access consumers.