CERC amends inter-state open access norms

Written by Economy Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: May 26 2009, 06:23am hrs
Henceforth, open access in transmission is expected to be an hassle-free exercise. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has amended the inter-state open access regulations in a bid to streamline and rationalise the processes involved in obtaining open access keeping in view the its importance in carrying forward reforms in power sector.

The new regulations will come into force from June 15. The central transmission utility (CTU) has been asked to prepare detailed procedure and get it approved from CERC before this timeline.

According to the amendment, when requested to give concurrence to an inter-state open access proposal, if the state load dispatch centre (SLDC) does not respond in the given timelines, which is 7 working days on first occasion and 3 working days on subsequent occasions, the concurrence of the SLDC shall be deemed to have been given. The SLDCs will check only two parameters namely the availability of transmission capacity and availability of metering infrastructure. This has been done to explicitly provide that no other ground can be the basis for refusal of the open access. It has been further clarified that metering infrastructure will be in accordance with grid code specified by the CERC.

Open access customer can now request for change in schedule at a notice of two days instead of the presently provided period of five days. The transmission charges for short-term open access have been rationalized keeping in view the philosophy that these should reflect economic value of the service provided and the charges for long-term usage and short-term usage should ultimately converge.

According to CERC, SLDCs now have been mandated to display on their websites, the information regarding the applications pending for decisions, the reasons for refusal of open access in the cases where open access has been refused, the applicable transmission losses and other related information. At present, 75% of the charges earned through short-term open access are disbursed to CTU who pass on this amount as rebate in the transmission bills. To make this process simple and transparent, this share of income will now be disbursed to the long-term customer directly by Regional Load Dispatch Centres (RLDCs).

In line with the responsibility entrusted under the Electricity Act, 2003, now all disputes arising under these inter-state open access regulations will be decided by the Commission irrespective of the fact that such dispute involves the SLDC and the intra-state entity of the concerned state.