The Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) has unveiled the draft Intrastate Open Access Regulations 2023, ushering in a new era for green energy open access in the state. These regulations open up opportunities for consumers with a contracted demand or sanctioned load of 100 kW or more to access green energy through open access.
The proposed regulations permit consumers to have a sanctioned load through a single connection or multiple connections aggregating 100 kW or more within the same electricity division of the distribution company (DISCOM). Importantly, there will be no restrictions on the quantity of power supplied to captive consumers who opt for green energy open access.
These regulations are designed to cover open access consumers utilizing intrastate transmission or distribution systems, promoting accessibility and flexibility.
One significant change introduced by the state is the raising of the capacity threshold for open access. Consumers with a contracted capacity exceeding 1 MW will now be eligible to avail open access, opening up access to larger consumers.
To ensure clarity and precise application of the regulations, different categories of open access consumers have been defined:
The proposed regulations lay out the responsibilities regarding charges for open access customers. Consumers connected to either the transmission or distribution network will bear transmission charges, wheeling charges, and other relevant fees as determined by the Commission.
For green energy open access consumers, the cross-subsidy surcharge will be capped at 50% of the first-year surcharge for 12 years from project commissioning. Exceptions are made for specific cases, including waste-to-energy projects and captive users with their generating projects.
The proposed rules waive the additional surcharge for consumers paying fixed charges. Moreover, no additional surcharge will apply to consumers receiving power from waste-to-energy projects or those utilizing green energy for green hydrogen and ammonia production.
Open access consumers receiving electricity from offshore wind projects, commissioned up to December 2032, will not be subject to the additional surcharge.
DISCOMs may recover expenses for constructing electrical plants or lines to extend power supply to open access users, as per the Licensee's Duty for Supply of Electricity on Request Regulation of 2004.
Green energy open access consumers will be able to bank a minimum of 30% of their total monthly electricity consumption from the DISCOM. This banked energy will be adjusted within the same month, facilitating flexibility in energy use.
Annual verification of captive generating projects and users' status will be conducted by the DISCOMs. These reports must be submitted to the Commission no later than April 30 each year.
In cases where contracted capacity by open access users is underutilized and could meet the needs of other applicants, the DISCOMs may apply for a reduction or cancellation of allocated capacity. Compensatory charges apply in these scenarios, ensuring fairness and efficiency.
Various requirements for scheduling, energy settlement, and demand calculation are detailed in the regulations. Compliance with these provisions will be vital for open access generators, scheduled consumers, and open access consumers.
The regulations outline a transparent settlement process, ensuring accurate accounting for scheduled energy and demand, especially in cases involving multiple generating stations.
Notably, in May this year, TSERC approved a reduced additional surcharge, benefiting open access consumers who source power from providers other than the state DISCOMs.
These proposed regulations mark a significant step toward promoting green energy open access and fostering a more sustainable energy landscape in Telangana. Stakeholders and consumers will find these regulations instrumental in shaping the future of energy consumption in the state.