Power Ministry announced new electricity rules for easier access to power transmission network

admin November 10, 2021
Updated 2021/11/10 at 6:54 AM

The Electricity (Transmission System Planning, Development, and Recovery of Inter-State Transmission Charges) Rules 2021 were issued by the Ministry of Power to make it easier for power utilities to utilise the transmission network throughout the nation.

Power projects will no longer be required to identify their intended beneficiaries, which is a substantial improvement over the current method of obtaining prior clearance for access. State electricity distribution and transmission businesses will also be able to evaluate and develop their transmission needs under the new guidelines. States will be allowed to acquire energy under short- and medium-term contracts, lowering their electricity purchase expenses.

Currently, producing businesses apply for long-term access (LTA) based on supply agreements, while medium- and short-term transmission access is obtained within the available margins. Incremental transmission capacity is added based on the LTA application. A reassessment of the current transmission planning system based on LTA was prompted by many changes, such as the increased emphasis on renewable energy and the growth of the market mechanism.

The regulations outline how the current LTA will be converted to universal network access (GNA). The regulations also specify how GNA payments would be recovered from transmission network users, and the Central Transmission Utility will be in responsible of invoicing, collection, and payout of interstate transmission charges (CTU).

The guidelines define the duties of the different authorities in the transmission planning process in addition to introducing GNA. Every year over the following five years, the CTU will develop a short-term plan, and every alternate year for the next 10 years, a perspective plan. It will also produce an interstate transmission system (ISTS) implementation plan every year for the following five years. On a rolling basis, the plans will be created. While preparing the plan, the CTU will take into account factors such as right-of-way, generation development, and demand in different sections of the nation.

For the first time, the laws allow governments and generators to sell, share, or acquire transmission capacity. Excess draw or injection over the allowed GNA capacity shall be taxed at rates at least 25% higher, according to the rules. This will prevent entities from understating their GNA capabilities. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has been given authority to draught specific GNA rules for interstate transmission.

The Union government has issued these guidelines in order to simplify the planning, development, and recovery of transmission system investments. The laws seek to encourage investment in the generating and transmission sectors, as well as the development of deeper markets.

CERC published a thorough method for awarding ISTS connection to renewable energy projects in August 2020. CTU, regional load despatch centres, state load despatch centres, state transmission utilities, distribution corporations, and renewable energy implementing agencies like the Solar Energy Corporation of India were all subject to this system.

CERC released proposed rules in 2019 for sharing interstate transmission costs and losses. It said that the transmission costs would be split among the authorised ISTS customers so that the annual transmission charges would be completely paid and any adjustment due to transmission fee revisions would be recovered.


Source: Mercom India

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